Clinical Trials

MS-SAFE: Stepping to Avoid Fall Events in Multiple Sclerosis

Type of Study/Intervention

Allied Health

Recruitment Status


Form of MS

Relapsing remitting MS, Secondary progressive MS, Primary progressive MS

Brief Summary

This project will examine feasibility, mechanisms and efficacy of protective step training as a fall-prevention strategy for people with MS. Forty-four people with MS will be recruited and assessed for balance recovery responses after slips and trips. Equipped with a full-body safety harness and foot protectors, people with MS will be exposed to a slip (70cm length) and a trip (14cm height) using our perturbation system. Twenty-two participants randomized to the balance recovery training group will undertake 3 weekly individual 40-minute sessions (120 minutes in total) with each session focusing on balance recovery from trips (week 1 or 2), slips (week 2 or 1) and a mix of trips and slips (week 3). The obstacle avoidance training group will undertake a single 40-min session which aims to train avoiding obstacles at different heights. Following training, balance recovery response to slips and trips will be assessed. Kinematic, kinetic and physiological data will be collected to explore mechanisms for how people with MS improve their balance recovery responses.

Inclusion criteria

1) Aged between 18-70 years,
2) Living in the community,
3) Confirmed diagnosis of MS,
4) Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) between 1 and 5.5,
5) No apparent cognitive impairment,
6) Being able to understand and follow test instructions,
7) Stable MS (with or without disease modifying drugs) with no exacerbation in the past 30 days.
8) Exercising for 60 minutes per week (e.g. fitness class, walking, strength training, Tai Chi, etc) for the past 3 months.

Exclusion criteria

1) Unable to walk 5 minutes without a bilateral mobility aid,
2) Existing conditions that prevent exercise (e.g. severe pain, heel ulcers, severe spasticity, excessive fatigue, exercise intolerance),
3) A relapse of MS in the past 30 days
4) Advised by a medical practitioner not to exercise.
5) History of fracture in the past 3 years or joint replacement in the past 12 months

Anticipated start date


Recruitment status


Recruitment contacts

Dr Yoshiro Okubo

Neuroscience Research Australia
Barker St

Phone +61 2 9399 1065


Further details on the Neuroscience Research Australia website.

Further details

Full details of the trial can be found on the ANZCTR clinical trials database



Trial number


Ethics Approval


Last updated

19 Nov 2020

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