2021 CMSC Annual Meeting

Virtual I Can Do It Program for Individuals with Progressed Multiple Sclerosis


Background: The I Can Do It, You Can Do It (ICDI) national model was initiated by the U.S. department of Health and Human Services Office on Disability in 2004. ICDI facilitates opportunities for all Americans, regardless of ability, to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physically activity, leisure and good nutrition. Individuals with disabilities are likely to be physically inactive due to social, environment and policy/program barriers (Shields, Synnot, & Barr, 2012). Benefits of exercise for individuals with MS are well known such as increased quality of life, strength, mobility, cardiovascular health and reduced fatigue symptoms (Canning & Hicks 2020). However, the uptake of exercise for individuals with MS is low and needs have been identified for health promotion programming to support home and community exercise and to support individuals in initiating and maintaining exercise behaviors (Learmonth et al., 2017). Thus it is critical to provide programming to reduce health disparity and meet this need. The Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center (MSAC) at KUMC provides physical therapy, occupational therapy and social work support once a week for members at the center including opportunities for social connection, support, exercise and education. However, when in person programming was abruptly halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic the need for virtual programming became clear. Even now that the center has reopened in limited capacity, the virtual programming such as ICDI enables members who are unable or uncomfortable coming into the center at this time to participate. ICDI empowers members to meet their individualized healthy lifestyle goals and carry healthy behaviors over into the rest of their week. The objective is to implement the ICDI program virtually to provide members of the MSAC an additional health promotion program that focuses on healthy eating and regular exercise. The program is typically delivered in person and this project showed how ICDI can also be implemented virtually in a group setting and with adults who have progressed MS. Objectives: 1) increase mentee physical activity participation, 2) Increase mentee healthy eating behaviors, 3) improve mentee health outcomes, 4) empower mentees to reach individual healthy lifestyle goals through use of goal attainment scaling, 5) understand needs for successful virtual delivery of ICDI in a group setting for adults with MS. Methods: Concurrent mixed methods. Descriptive statistics (e.g., frequencies, measures of central tendency, and measures of variability) to analyze the data. Results: To be determined; working on analysis of data now and into March/April 2021. Conclusions: We will need to see what the statistical analysis shows for conclusions. So far we know that comfort with technology makes a difference in virtual programming and intervention for our members as well as that members value the social connection of virtual programming.