Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Physical Activity and Associated Technology Use in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis: An International RIMS-SIG Mobility Survey Study

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Moumdjian L., Smedal T., Arntzen E. C., van der Linden M. L., Learmonth Y., Pedulla L., ...More

ARCHIVES OF PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION, vol.103, no.10, pp.2009-2015, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 103 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.apmr.2022.06.001
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, SportDiscus
  • Page Numbers: pp.2009-2015
  • Keywords: COVID-19, Exercise, Multiple sclerosis, Rehabilitation, Technol-ogy, Walking, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, EXERCISE, PEOPLE, ADULTS, PHYSIOTHERAPY, DISABILITY, FATIGUE, MS
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


Objective: To investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on physical activity in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS).Design: Multicenter international online survey study.Setting: The survey was conducted within 11 participating countries. Each country launched the survey using online platforms from May to July 2021.Participants: This was an electronic survey study targeting PwMS (N=3725).Intervention: Not applicable.Main Outcome Measures: The survey ascertained physical activity performance and its intensity, the nature of the activities conducted, and the use of technology to support home-based physical activity before and during the pandemic. Results: A total of 3725 respondents completed the survey. Prepandemic, the majority (83%) of respondents reported being physically active, and this decreased to 75% during the pandemic. This change was significant for moderate-and high-intensity activity (P<.0001). Activities carried out in physiotherapy centers, gyms, or pools decreased the most. Walking was the most frequently performed activity prepandemic (27%) and increased during the pandemic (33%). A total of 24% of those inactive during the pandemic had no intention of changing their physical activity behavior post pandemic. A total of 58% of the respondents did not use technology to support physical activity during the pandemic. Of those who did use technology, wearables were most used (24%). Of those currently nonactive (25%) expressed a preference for an in-person format to con-duct physical activity post pandemic.Conclusions: Physical activity performance, especially activities at moderate and high intensities, decreased during the pandemic in PwMS com-pared with prepandemic. Walking and using wearables gained popularity as ways to stay active. As we move toward an endemic COVID-19, a call for action to develop interventions focused on walking programs with specific emphasis on increasing physical activity of PwMS is proposed. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2022;103:2009-15 (c) 2022 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.