What is the purpose of this study?
To investigate whether a 6-month period of training using a stepping device can improve your balance, thinking skills and reduce your risk of falling.
What does the study involve?
If you are interested in this study you will be invited to one of our study sites: NeuRA in Randwick, the MS Limited Centres in Lidcombe (NSW), Canberra, Hobart or Melbourne to undertake a falls risk assessment and step performance test. This involves measuring the strength in your legs, and ability to stand still on different surfaces and walking ability. You are free to use mobility aids that you use in daily activities.
After the assessments you will be randomly allocated to one of two groups: exercise booklet or stepping exercise.
Participants can also take part in 2 optional sub-studies related to the main study with the aims to a) investigate whether exercises using a stepping training system would improve sensation in the joint and muscles and muscular performance in lower limbs of people with multiple sclerosis and b) determine the relationship between sleep disruption and its consequences on balance and fall risks in people with multiple sclerosis. The study is currently recruiting people in Metropolitan Sydney, Canberra, Hobart and Melbourne.
Who can enrol?
People who have confirmed diagnosis of MS, aged 18 years and over, living in the community. To be included in the study, MS participants need to be:
• Mobile and able to walk at least 50 meters with or without mobility aid
• Able to understand and follow instructions
• Having stable MS (with or without disease modifying drugs) with no exacerbation in the past 30 days
• And currently not involved in any falls prevention programs.
Will I be reimbursed?
Your participation in the study is totally voluntary. You will be reimbursed for expenses associated with participation in the study such as travel to the study site.
If you have any questions, or if you are interested in participating, please feel free to contact a member of the research team:
Chief Investigators: Professor Stephen Lord, Dr Phu Hoang, Dr Jasmine Menant, Dr Daina Sturnieks and other members of the Motor Impairment program.
UNSW HREC Approval number: 14211
Prince of Wales Hospital HREC Approval number: 14/312
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