For people living with MS who are ambulant (can walk), walking is an important form of exercise for health and wellness. Although most people are aware of this, finding the time and motivation to exercise can be a constant battle in busy lives. Additionally, finding ways for clinicians to easily monitor walking patterns and detect changes for patients in clinic can also be challenging. This innovative research hopes to assist people living with MS in both areas.
Dr Pedrini and her team are introducing a new walking-to-music rehabilitation tool called “GotRhythm”, which uses sensor insoles in shoes and links walking activity with music to potentially improve motivation when exercising. The tool also has the capability to measure walking patterns, such as the number of steps taken per minute. The first goal of this study is to compare the GotRhythm walking measurement tool to other established measures of walking. The second goal is to compare walking patterns when listening to motivational music using GotRhythm, against walking patterns when not using the GotRhythm system. The study will also examine levels of fatigue and motivation towards walking using the system. Ultimately, it is hoped that GotRhythm may be further developed into a rehabilitation tool to improve both walking patterns and exercise motivation. This could lead to the development of a program to improve health and wellness and to provide increased enjoyment of exercise specifically for people living with MS.
Dr Marzena Pedrini and her team have made significant progress in their study. They conducted experiments to measure participants' walking pattern while listening to motivational music. To facilitate this, they developed a user-friendly mobile phone application called Tempony, which directly measures walking patterns using the phone's accelerometer. The application incorporates the features of the previous app, GotRhythm, but with improved usability.
Preliminary data collection has been completed for the participants. So far, there are no clear differences in motivation or fatigue between walking with music and walking without music after 12 minutes. Although this doesn't support the initial hypothesis, the team are interested in studying how motivation is affected during a longer walking intervention.
Dr Marzena Pedrini and her team also began a new phase of the study focused on supervised walking to music intervention. They obtained ethics approval and finalised the exercise education material for all study participants. The intervention study has been advertised through various organisations, resulting in the recruitment of nine participants for the intervention group, with seven of them completing the entire study. Additionally, an Exercise Physiology Master’s student has been recruited to assist with delivering the intervention.
Updated: 31 March 2023
Updated: 19 January, 2021
Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.
Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.
Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.