Over the past 7 years we have been trialing the clinical application of the MS Get a Head start program with several different delivery settings. For example group settings compared to 1:1 and hydrotherapy based compared to land. Although the setting has changed, the results have continued to show significant improvements in physical and self assessed outcome measures.

However I was unsure if the same level of improvement could be achieved for those receiving the six week MS GHS program purely online. With obvious limitations to online delivery in regards to the physical application of the program we had to make a few changes. The program is essential the same, however instead of the therapist leading x2 face to face sessions, the participant is emailed a detailed exercise program that they complete self directed either at home, in the gym or local pool. The participant then receives a 1 hour online video conferencing session each week to discuss the educational component of that week as well as problem solve any issues with the planned exercise program or questions they have in general.

The focus of the program is still significantly aimed at changing exercise health behavior and increasing self efficacy in their overall management of Multiple Sclerosis.

To our delight (but not surprising) our first participants of the fully online version of MSGHS exceed our expectations and shot their results out of the water. Here are the results that our first participants achieved and what she had to say about the program.

Outcome MeasureBeforeAfter
Sit to Stand x538 seconds21 seconds  **significant improvement
10 meter Walk TestNormal: 30secs 31steps
Fast: 25secs 31 steps
Normal: 25 sec and 23 steps **significant improvement
Fast: 19 sec and 23 steps  **significant improvement
Fatigue Severity Scale43/ 6336 /63  **significant improvement
MS 12 point Walking Scale44 /4844 /48
The life satisfaction questionnaire 945 /5443 /54
Self Efficacy for managing chronic disease40 /6046 /60  **significant improvement

Overall how has MSGHS impacted your MS Journey:

I was unsure initially however I have change my idea of thinking my body couldnt do things and realised that my body could improve greatly with following my exercise plan and resting daily. The key things I learnt was to rest for 20 minutes daily, get out of breath for short intervals 3 to 4 times a week and strengthen my muscles twice a week.

What was the best moment of the 6 week program:

At the end when I found out how much I had improved!

How do you plan to keep the gains you have made:

Make sure I have 20 minutes rest each day

Do exercise regularly and push muself

Be active everyday