Barriers and solutions to participation in exercise for moderately disabled people with multiple sclerosis not currently exercising: a consensus development study using nominal group technique

Fiona Moffat, Lorna Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic, progressive neurological condition. The aim of this study was to explore consensus on the barriers and solutions to exercise for people with Multiple Sclerosis living in Scotland.
Method: 35 people with Multiple Sclerosis, not regularly exercising, were recruited and took part in 5 Nominal Group Technique groups throughout Scotland. Background information was collected on participants prior to each group. Participants individually and silently listed their barriers and solutions to participating in exercise. Group discussion then clarified, amended and merged ideas. Participants then ranked ideas by choosing 5 barriers and solutions to exercise participation. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and by carrying out a thematic grouping.
Results: Consensus was that fatigue was a barrier to exercise participation. Other identified barriers were a lack of support and advice, the impairments arising from the condition and time. No single item achieved consensus for solutions but exercising with others, receiving support, having a positive attitude, finding time and minimising environmental barriers were all suggested as solutions to assist in exercise participation.
Conclusions: People with Multiple Sclerosis should be provided with information on how to manage their fatigue alongside any exercise prescription. Information and support should be given on how to personalise exercise to suit individual needs and abilities to overcome some of the barriers suggested within this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2775-2783
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number23
Early online date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • fatigue, support, self- management, impairments, environment, time

Cite this