TitleSystematic framework to evaluate the status of physical activity research for persons with multiple sclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsDixon-Ibarra, A, Vanderbom, K, Dugala, A, Driver, S
JournalDisability and health journal
Date Published04/2014

BACKGROUND: Exploring the current state of health behavior research for individuals with multiple sclerosis is essential to understanding the next steps required to reducing preventable disability. A way to link research to translational health promotion programs is by utilizing the Behavioral Epidemiological Framework, which describes a sequence of phases used to categorize health-related behavioral research. OBJECTIVE: This critical audit of the literature examines the current state of physical activity research for persons with multiple sclerosis by utilizing the proposed Behavioral Epidemiological Framework. METHODS: After searching MEDLINE, PUBMED, PsycINFO, Google Scholar and several major areas within EBSCOHOST (2000 to present), retrieved articles were categorized according to the framework phases and coding rules. RESULTS: Of 139 articles, 49% were in phase 1 (establishing links between behavior and health), 18% phase 2 (developing methods for measuring behavior), 24% phase 3 (identifying factors influencing behavior and implications for theory), and 9% phase 4 and 5 (evaluating interventions to change behavior and translating research into practice). CONCLUSIONS: Emphasis on phase 1 research indicates the field is in its early stages of development. Providing those with multiple sclerosis with necessary tools through health promotion programs is needed to reduce secondary conditions and co-morbidities. Reassessment of the field of physical activity and multiple sclerosis in the future could provide insight into whether the field is evolving over time or remaining stagnant.