Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who interact with different sources of health information are more likely to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors, a study has found.
A combination of in-person interactive educational workshops and practical tools to implement these concepts in daily life may be the best strategy to promote the adoption of these habits among MS patients, according to the study authors.
The study, “Greater Engagement with Health Information Is Associated with Adoption and Maintenance of Healthy Lifestyle Behaviours in People with MS,” was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
In patients with MS or other chronic conditions, face-to-face interventions both at the group and individual levels have been used for a long time to convey information and promote the adoption of healthy behaviors.
“Online health information is regarded as a convenient and low-cost complementary resource for symptom management and behavior changes,” investigators wrote.
The group of investigators from the University of Melbourne and the University of Tasmania now proposes that those with MS who interact with health information via online, individual, and group interventions, are more likely to adopt healthy behaviors.
In their study, researchers analyzed data from surveys gathered from a group of 952 MS patients over the course of five years.
Surveys were designed to gauge patients’ level of engagement with three different sources of health information: number of visits to the website of the “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis” initiative; familiarity with the initiative’s book; and participation in its live-in workshops.
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