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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Participation as an Outcome in Multiple Sclerosis Falls-Prevention Research: Consensus Recommendation from the International MS Falls Prevention Research Network


Finalyson, ML, Petersen, E, Matsuda, PN



Publication Info:

International Journal of MS Care, 16(4):171-177


Selecting the outcomes for an intervention trial is a key decision that influences many other aspects of the study design. One of the major tasks during the 3-day inaugural meeting of the International MS Falls Prevention Research Network was to identify the key outcomes for the falls-prevention intervention that was being designed by the Network members for testing across their multiple sites. Through a nominal group process, meeting participants described how engagement in important, meaningful everyday activities, beyond traditional basic and instrumental activities of daily living, should be a long-term outcome of a successful falls-prevention intervention for people with MS. Post-meeting work, which involved literature reviews and comparisons of definitions of major constructs identified during the meeting discussions, led to the consensus recommendation of including participation as a long-term outcome in MS falls-prevention interventions. Participation reflects involvement in a life situation. This article explains the rationale for this recommendation and presents four measures that have the potential for use in tracking long-term participation outcomes in MS falls-prevention research.

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