Core outcome measures for exercise studies in people with MS: recommendations from a multidisciplinary consensus meeting

Research into MS and quality of life:
A group of international experts from a range of disciplines met to discuss outcome measures in MS with the purpose being to recommend a core set of outcome measures for use within exercise studies in MS.

It has been shown that exercise is a safe, non-pharmacological treatment strategy for people with MS that can bring many health benefits including improvements in muscle power, physical and psychosocial functioning and quality of life.

One hundred categories of the International Classification of Function Core Sets for MS were identified and, of these, 57 were considered as likely/potentially likely to be affected by exercise and were clustered into seven core groups.

The outcome measures recommended by the consensus group are a combination of patient-reported outcome measures and include the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) or Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) for energy and drive, 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) for exercise tolerance, Timed Up and Go (TUG) for muscle function and moving around, Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29) or Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 Instrument (MSQoL54) for quality of life, and objective measures including body mass index (BMI) or waist-hip ratio (WHR) for the health risks associated with excess body fat.

The core outcome measures recommended are commonly used assessments which are relatively quick to complete, require no specialised equipment or training and have minimal cost implications. By using these core measures in future meta-analysis of exercise studies in MS, it ensures these studies are more robust and therefore more effectively inform practice.

Paul L, Coote S
Source: Mult Scler. 2014 Mar 17. [Epub ahead of print]
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