Can community supported exercise benefit subjective wellbeing, physical activity levels and abilities in people with Huntington’s disease? A randomised feasibility study and process evaluation.


WAG (RFS Health Research Award)

Principal / Lead Investigator
Dr Monica Busse-Morris

Ann Rosser, Helen Dawes, Karianne Backx, Sharon Simpson, Lori Quinn, David Wasley, Robert Van Deursen.

Type of study
Randomised feasibility study and process evaluation

Keeping physically active is known to result in considerable health benefits. We know that gym based exercises can be of benefit to physically able individuals as well as people with uncomplicated Long Term Neurological Conditions (LTNCs) such as Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Little is known about ways to support and encourage involvement in regular exercise in the more complex LTNCs such as Huntington’s disease (HD), a progressive condition in which individuals suffer mobility deficits, cognitive decline, and psychiatric illness. 

This study aims to evaluate a gym-based supported exercise programme in terms of acceptability and potential benefit to people with HD. People with early stage HD will be provided with a graded exercise programme (utilising a physical activity support scheme (PASS) developed for people with Long Term Neurological Conditions) under supervision in a community gym. We will record how often people attend the exercise sessions and measure any changes in health and wellbeing. We then plan use this and evidence from other LTNCs to help develop practical methods to improve uptake of exercise for people with complex LTNCs in community leisure facilities.

Group role / contribution
WSPCR supported

Link with RDG / CSG or similar

Start date
Sep 2010

End date
Aug 2012