Background:

People with moderate to severe multiple sclerosis (MS) and their family care partners do not engage in sufficient physical activity (PA) for health benefits. Dyadic PA interventions need to be developed to benefit each individual and the dyad. The objective of this study was to engage expert stakeholders in prioritizing and refining key intervention content, delivery methods, and the practical/logistical aspects of a dyadic PA intervention for persons with MS and their care partners.

Methods:

Thirty-two stakeholders (14 clinicians, 11 people with MS, 5 MS care partners, and 2 representatives of organizations that provide support services for people with MS and/or MS care partners) completed 2 rounds of a modified e-Delphi survey. In round 1, participants rated items across 3 domains: key intervention content (n = 8), delivery methods (n = 9), and practical/logistical aspects (n = 4). Participants contributed additional ideas about these domains, which were incorporated into round 2. Items that did not reach consensus in round 1 were forwarded to round 2 for rerating. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis.

Results:

A 24-item list of recommendations was generated, including ensuring that presentation of the intervention content encouraged lifestyle activities in addition to exercise, using videoconferencing rather than teleconferencing as a delivery platform, and stressing the importance of flexibility during the support calls.

Conclusions:

Feedback will be used to improve the quality of the intervention. The next step in this line of research involves evaluating the refined intervention in a pilot feasibility trial.

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