A Qualitative Study of a Home-Based DVD Exercise Intervention in Older Adults with Multiple Sclerosis
Objectives: The present study further evaluated the FlexToBa intervention using qualitative methodology. We were interested in identifying motivations for participating in the exercise intervention, benefits of following the FlexToBa program, positive and negative evaluations of the program itself, and avenues for improving the program.
Methods: The participants (N=21) underwent semi-structured, scripted interviews after completing the 6-month FlexToBa intervention. Three researchers performed coding and thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews.
Results: Spiral analysis of the data identified main themes regarding the motivations, benefits, experiences, and improvements of participants following the FlexToBa program. Participants were motivated for increasing exercise behaviors, improving health, and impacting the larger MS community through research. The primary benefits experienced from FlexToBa participation were fitness and health improvements and improvements in attitude and self-confidence. Participants enjoyed the exercises and modifications available, the clarity of the DVD, and convenience of a home-based program. Participants had negative experiences with the exercise difficulty, physical impact, and some technical aspects of the program. Suggested improvements included adding more exercise modifications and providing a more convenient method for contacting program personnel.
Conclusions: These results may be relevant and informative for future Phase-III FlexToBa trials in persons with MS.