Physios and fitness instructors help patients to tackle MS
Community-based exercise groups can offer mental and physical benefits to people with multiple sclerosis (MS), a physio-led study shows. Sessions can be effectively provided outside a hospital, say researchers from the University of Glasgow and NHS Ayrshire and Arran.
CSP member Yvonne Learmonth, of the university‘s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, led a team of fitness instructors on a programme of exercises targeting MS symptoms.
Twenty volunteers took part in hour-long sessions held twice a week at leisure centres for 12 weeks. A control group of 12 volunteers made no changes.
As well as improving on physical measures – weaker-leg strength, balance and activity levels – exercisers said they felt less tired and more confident about their balance.
They enjoyed the social support of exercise.
They named psychosocial factors, symptoms and lack of service as barriers to exercising.
Learmonth YC et al. The effects of a 12-week leisure centre-based, group exercise intervention for people moderately affected with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled pilot study. Clinical Rehabilitation 2012; 26: 579-593, doi:10.1177/ 0269215511423946.
Learmonth YC et al. A qualitative exploration of the impact of a 12-week group exercise class for those moderately affected with MS. Disability and Rehabilitation 2012; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22656959
Guide maps the easy route to finding evidence
When you want to find out what’s known on a subject, digging out the relevant research papers can be difficult and laborious.
Now mental health researchers have produced a guide for non-academics that simplifies the process by explaining every step, backed with copious resources.
The Guide to Finding and Reading Research is easy to follow, packed with information, clearly written and usefully illustrated. Aimed at service users and carers, it was produced by the Mental Health Research Network, part of the National Institute for Health Research.
Not only jargon-free, it helpfully explains all the jargon you’re likely to encounter, along with the different kinds of publication.
Research reports on the Physio findings pages, for example, come from peer-reviewed journals, meaning that the study has been quality-checked by experts in that field. (We may feature CSP members’ ongoing research, which hasn’t yet been peer reviewed or published in the Members’ News column.)
Although the guide’s examples are drawn from mental health, most of the information can be used in any field. It explains how to use an academic search engine, find the source of health-news stories and gain access to published papers.
It includes numerous links and lists of journals. It’s alsoa valuable resource for the mental-health component of any physio’s work.
Download the NIHR Mental Health Research Network Guide to Finding and Reading a Research Paper free of charge from www.mhrn.info
Comments & conclusions
A web-based exercise programme can help office workers with lower-back pain, say researchers.
Employees who carried out the programme at their computers for 11 minutes a day, five days a week over nine months reduced their symptoms and improved their quality of life compared with a control group.
Del Pozo-Cruz B et al. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy 2012; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22951407
A change in sleep patterns may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s in mice, say researchers.
The animals spent more time awake as plaques developed in their brains.
But it’s not yet known if humans react the same way, researchers add.
And many factors, including stress and ageing, can cause insomnia.
Roh JH et al. Science Translational Medicine 2012; doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004291
A placebo-controlled study confirms anecdotal evidence that cholesterol-reducing statin drugs cause fatigue in some patients.
Golomb BA et al. Archives of Internal Medicine 2012; 172: 1180-1182, doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.2171