Physical, Cognitive, and Social Programs for Patients With MS: Brian Hutchinson, PT, MSCS


The director of the Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center outlined the design of the wellness programs, which are held in 2 different formats. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“We provide an ongoing program, and that program entails a mixture of physical activity—exercise programs, cognitive stimulation, education, and socialization—is the best way to describe all of those things. We have 2 different formats, 1 is a 5-hour program, so it's a day program in which people attend and they participate in a series of physical activity, or exercise programs, both in individualized format, as well as a group format.”

Three-year data from wellness programs held for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) were presented at the 2021 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, October 25-28. Brian Hutchinson, PT, MSCS, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center, Dignity Health, in Sacramento, California, sat down with NeurologyLive to discuss the programs offered at the facility, as well as what weekly participation entails.

Programs are offered in both 5-hour and 2.5-hour formats, with the latter developed following patient feedback; some participants expressed their inability to commit to 5-hour sessions due to farther travel to the facility, part-time employment, among other reasons. Hutchinson commented on the different facets of the weekly program, which include exercise, cognitive stimulation, education, and socialization for patients with MS. Exercise might include yoga or Pilates, he said, while “brain-training programs” are performed with electronic devices or tablets. Socialization is encouraged in group settings, with those in the longer program enjoying lunch together, and educations components are formatted to be discussion-based as opposed to didactic. 

For more coverage of CMSC 2021, click here.

Hutchinson B, Schafer J, Sayre L, Malone, T. Effects of weekly participation in a wellness program on people living with multiple sclerosis: A 3-year analysis. Presented at CMSC 2021; October 25-28, 2021; Orlando, FL. Abstract REH02.
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