Individualized Reduction of Falls Intervention Program (iROLL)

The DPQL is working to evaluate the benefits of a fall prevention program designed for wheelchair and scooter users with multiple sclerosis (MS). The study is sponsored by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and being performed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Testing for this study is being performed in Chicago, IL, Champaign, IL, and Atlanta, GA.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a comprehensive fall management program. Falls are very common among wheelchair and scooter users with multiple sclerosis. A recent study has found that approximately 75% of wheelchair and scooter users living with MS will experience at least one fall in a six-month period of time. Falls most commonly occur when people are transferring to difference surfaces, pushing or driving their wheelchair/scooter in challenging environments or reaching for objects.

The purpose of the program is to decrease the number of falls experienced by wheelchair and scooter users living with MS and help them to develop strategies to recover from a fall.

If you would like to participate, you will be asked to attend 3, 2-hour study assessments over a period of 32 weeks. During these assessments, you will complete a series of questionnaires asking about your health, symptoms, activities, falls, and quality of life. After completing the questionnaires, you will complete several tests to examine your transfer skills, balance in a sitting position, and wheelchair/scooter skills.

After you have completed the baseline testing session you will be invited to participate in the fall prevention program. A group of 2-5 wheelchair or scooter users living with MS will participate in the program together. The education program will consist of 6, 2-hour education sessions. The sessions are held once a week over a period of 6 weeks. During the program you will learn methods to prevent falls, improve confidence in performance of transfers and wheelchair skills, learn how to recover (get up) if a fall does occur and perform exercises to help strengthen core muscles to improve balance. During the program, you will have an opportunity to discuss challenges you face related to falls and receive individual feedback on your specific challenges. All education sessions will be led and monitored by a trained physical or occupational therapist.

Once the education program is done, we will ask you to repeat the baseline study assessment two more times – right after completion of the education program and 12 weeks later. Throughout the entire time you are participating in the study, we will also ask you to track the frequency of your falls using a paper calendar.

For your time, you will be compensated $30 for the completion of each study assessment. You will also receive an additional $10 after returning your final fall tracking calendar. Overall, you will receive $100. Travel and parking cost will also be covered.

A man seated in a wheelchair preparing to use it

Come see us if you:

  • Have a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Over 18 years old
  • Use a wheelchair or scooter as your main form of mobility,
  • Have experience at least 1 fall in the past 12 months,
  • Able to sit in an upright position for at least 1 hour.

If you are interested in participating, please contact us at: dpqoluiuc@outlook.com or 217-333-4650.