Walking Awareness Survey Yields Interesting Results

During the 2016 March is MS Awareness Month campaign, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) conducted a patient-focused survey exploring the issue of walking as it relates to MS. Supported by Acorda Therapeutics as part of the Walking and MS Awareness Week initiative, more than 400 individuals took part in the online survey offering their insights and perspectives on this commonly reported symptom of multiple sclerosis.

The 15-question survey yielded some very interesting findings that bring to light the many challenges people with MS experience related to walking and addressing this symptom with their doctor. Some of the key survey findings include:

  • 95% of respondents reported experiencing MS-related walking difficulty which has slowed them down
  • Nearly 90% of respondents stated they are limiting or adjusting their schedule due to changes in their walking speed
  • More than 60% of people noticed changes in their walking before their diagnosis of multiple sclerosis
  • Nearly 40% of people who experienced walking difficulty waited one year or longer before deciding to talk with their doctor about their issue
  • Nearly 70% of respondents felt somewhat to not at all knowledgeable about walking issues as they relate to multiple sclerosis

“The results of this survey really underscore the need for the MS community to recognize how walking difficulties can impact daily life on so many levels and not to wait until the problem is too severe before discussing the issue with their doctor,” noted MSAA President and CEO Gina Ross Murdoch. “Additionally, MSAA can offer a variety of supportive services around walking and mobility issues through numerous educational articles, on-demand videos and our longstanding free Equipment Distribution program. We encourage everyone to visit our website or call our Helpline to learn more and take advantage of our offerings.”

To see the completed survey results and to learn more about walking and MS, please visit mymsaa.org/walking or call (800) 532-7667, ext. 154. MSAA would like to thank everyone who participated in the survey and Acorda Therapeutics for supporting this initiative.

Written by Peter Damiri, MSAA Vice President of Programs and Services