Background: During 4 weeks at Beitostølen Helsesportsenter, BHSS, we wanted to investigate the outcome persons with Multiple Sclerosis could get from performing fysical activity. We were interested both in the immediate effects and the long-term outcome of regular exercise. We included pain, fatigue and quality of life as factors that could be influenced by fysical activity.
Methods: A qualitative method that combined interviews with evaluation of earlier research, was used.We used Pubmed and Medline to collect articles conserning MS and fysical activity, related to our goals for the project. The interview was established early in the process and dealt with exercise-related effects on pain, fatigue, mental health and quality of life from a retrospective point of view.
Results: The litterature we read, had clues for positive outcome of fysical activity for MS-patients, and our interviews stronger suggested these clues: We found that 4 out of 6 interview-objects had fatigue as a manifestation of MS, and that they all improved in the period spent at BHSS. There was also seen pain-relief after weeks of regular exercise. All patients experienced to master in relation to fysical activity. They also meant that fysical activity is important for well-being and to master the disease in general.
Conclusions: Even though our results suggest a lot of positiv effects of regular exercise for MS-patients, we still don`t have the knowledge to use fysical activity as a general treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. But we have seen that fysical activity seems to give self-confidence and feeling of well-being among MS-patients. We are strongly convinced that fysical activity can help to establish and maintain a higher quality of life in MS-patients,- as in the general population.