Better Balance Programme

Many people with multiple sclerosis experience falls, which can have significant consequences for the individual. The MS Research Team at the University of Limerick, led by Professor Susan Coote, have developed a falls prevention programme for people with multiple sclerosis and we would like to assess how suitable and effective the programme is. 

What do I have to do?

The 'Better Balance' programme consists of 12 weeks of twice-weekly classes run by a chartered physiotherapist. The classes will consist of 45 minutes of exercises aimed at improving balance, strength and walking and 45 minutes of education on topics such as fear of falling, task analysis, getting up from the floor, what devices can assist you  – these will include group discussions and problem solving. There will also be a home exercise programme provided to each participant.

The classes will take place in Limerick and Galway and will be offered in the morning and/or evening depending on the preference of the individuals attending. Beginning in January, interested individuals will be asked to attend an assessment day where a chartered physiotherapist will test your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls. We will then give you falls diaries to complete for two months. This is like a calendar where you will write down if you had a fall. After these two months, the classes will begin. 

When the 12 weeks of classes are finished you will again have your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls assessed and complete another two months of falls diaries to see if the intervention has been successful. After completing the two months of falls diaries you will attend one last assessment with the researcher to assess your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls. 

Who can participate?

To be eligible to take part you must have multiple sclerosis, be over the age of 18 years, have experienced a fall in the last three months, and be able to walk for 10 metres with or without a walking aid (one stick or one crutch).  

Get in touch

If you would be interested in taking part in this study or have any further questions about the study you can contact the researchers by calling Laura Comber on 086 0231335 or email Laura.comber@ul.ie or Prof. Susan Coote on (061) 234278 or email susan.coote@ul.ie

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