An exploration of the experiences and utility of functional electrical stimulation for foot drop in people with multiple sclerosis

Renfrew, (M.) L., Flowers, P. , Lord, A. C., Rafferty, D., McFadyen, A. K., Bowers, R., Mattison, P. and Paul, L. (2018) An exploration of the experiences and utility of functional electrical stimulation for foot drop in people with multiple sclerosis. Disability and Rehabilitation, (doi:10.1080/09638288.2018.1501100) (PMID:30299176) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Purpose: Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is effective in improving walking in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) with foot drop. There is limited research exploring people’s experiences of using this device. This study aims to explore the utility, efficacy, acceptability, and impact on daily life of the device in people with MS. Methods: An interpretative phenomenological approach was employed. Ten participants who had used FES for 12 months were interviewed. Transcripts were analysed, and emergent themes identified. Results: Nine participants continued to use the device. Three relevant super-ordinate themes were identified; impact of functional electrical stimulation, sticking with functional electrical stimulation, and autonomy and control. Participants reported challenges using the device; however, all reported positive physical and psychological benefits. Intrinsic and external influences such as; access to professional help, the influence of others, an individual’s ability to adapt, and experiences using the device, influenced their decisions to continue with the device. A thematic model of these factors was developed. Conclusions: This study has contributed to our understanding of people with MS experiences of using the device and will help inform prescribing decisions and support the continued, appropriate use of FES over the longer term.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Multiple Sclerosis Society, UK [grant number 001].
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Flowers, Professor Paul
Authors: Renfrew, (M.) L., Flowers, P., Lord, A. C., Rafferty, D., McFadyen, A. K., Bowers, R., Mattison, P., and Paul, L.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Disability and Rehabilitation
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0963-8288
ISSN (Online):1464-5165
Published Online:09 October 2018

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