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Self-reported behaviour change among multiple sclerosis community members and interested laypeople following participation in a free online course about multiple sclerosis

Claflin, SB ORCID: 0000-0001-6545-946X, Mainsbridge, C ORCID: 0000-0002-4600-2058, Campbell, J ORCID: 0000-0002-1820-6758, Klekociuk, S ORCID: 0000-0001-8654-2924 and Taylor, BVM 2021 , 'Self-reported behaviour change among multiple sclerosis community members and interested laypeople following participation in a free online course about multiple sclerosis' , Health Promotion Journal of Australia , doi: 10.1002/hpja.559.

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Issue addressed: Evaluated the impact of Understanding Multiple Sclerosis (MS) massive open online course, which was intended to increase understanding and awareness about MS, on self-reported health behaviour change. Methods: Observational cohort study evaluating pre- (baseline) and post-course (8-10-week follow-up) survey data. The main study outcomes were self-reported health behaviour change, change type and measurable improvement. We also collected participant characteristic data (eg, age, physical activity). We compared participants who reported health behaviour change at follow-up to those who did not and compared those who improved with those who did not using chi square and t tests. Participant characteristics, change types and change improvement were described descriptively. Results: A total of N = 560 course completers were included in this study. The study cohort included MS community members (eg, people with MS, health care providers) and nonmembers. Two hundred and forty-seven (44.1%) reported behaviour change in ≥1 area at follow-up, 160 (64.8%) reported a measurable change and, of these, 109 (68.1%) showed improvement. Participants who reported a change and those who improved had significantly lower precourse health behaviours and characteristics (eg, quality of life, diet quality). The most reported change types were knowledge, exercise/physical activity, diet and care practice. Conclusion: Understanding MS encourages health behaviour change among course completers, primarily through the provision of information and goal-setting activities and discussions. SO WHAT?: An online education intervention can effectively encourage health behaviour change over an 8-10-week follow-up period. Information provision, including both scientific evidence and lived experience, and goal-setting activities and discussions are the primary mechanisms underpinning that change.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Claflin, SB and Mainsbridge, C and Campbell, J and Klekociuk, S and Taylor, BVM
Keywords: eHealth, health behaviour change, health education, health promotion, multiple sclerosis
Journal or Publication Title: Health Promotion Journal of Australia
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
ISSN: 2201-1617
DOI / ID Number: 10.1002/hpja.559
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Copyright 2021 Australian Health Promotion Association

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