The HOLISM Study

Project Details

A growing literature on the effects of lifestyle on the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) highlights the potential benefit of diet, exercise, sun exposure and/or vitamin D, Omega-3 supplementation, and stress reduction. In the HOLISM study (Health Outcomes and Lifestyle In a Sample of people with Multiple Sclerosis) we aimed to recruit participants from online social media promoting lifestyle-based interventions in MS and examine in detail these factors, and determine their relationship to quality of life, relapse rate, physical function and disability. Around 2,500 participants who provided consent responded to an online questionnaire, providing demographic and disease-specific data as well as details of diet, exercise, sun exposure, vitamin D level and supplements, stress reduction techniques, medication use, and disability, using validated survey instruments, modified where necessary. Participants are followed at 2.5 year intervals in a longitudinal cohort study. Regression analyses have examined the predictors of functional status, depression risk, fatigue, sexual function, pain, cognitive function and quality of life from the demographic, lifestyle and medication factors, and their relative contributions. These data will assist in determining the association between lifestyle factors and health outcomes in people with MS, globally. They will also help to inform future research, and advise people with MS of the potential contribution of lifestyle to their health-related quality of life and physical disability. There have been 15 publications from the HOLISM Study to date.

Collaborators

Professor Jane Hocking, Head, Sexual Health Unit, MSPGH
Professor Fary Khan, Head, Australian Rehabilitation Research Centre

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Publications

1.Marck CH, Neate SL, Taylor KL, Weiland TJ, Jelinek GA. Prevalence of Comorbidities, Overweight and Obesity in an International Sample of People with Multiple Sclerosis and Associations with Modifiable Lifestyle Factors. PLoS One. 2016;11(2):e0148573.


2.Marck CH, Jelinek PL, Weiland TJ, et al. Sexual function in multiple sclerosis and associations with demographic, disease and lifestyle characteristics: a cross-sectional international study. BMC Neurol. 2016;16:210.


3.Jelinek GA, De Livera AM, Marck CH, et al. Associations of Lifestyle, Medication, and Socio-Demographic Factors with Disability in People with Multiple Sclerosis: An International Cross-Sectional Study. PLoS One. 2016;11(8):e0161701.


4.Jelinek GA, De Livera AM, Marck CH, et al. Lifestyle, medication and socio-demographic determinants of mental and physical health-related quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis. BMC Neurol. 2016;16(1):235.


5.Weiland TJ, Jelinek GA, Marck CH, et al. Clinically significant fatigue: prevalence and associated factors in an international sample of adults with multiple sclerosis recruited via the internet. PLoS One. 2015;10(2):e0115541.


6.Jelinek GA, Weiland TJ, Hadgkiss EJ, Marck CH, Pereira N, van der Meer DM. Medication use in a large international sample of people with multiple sclerosis: associations with quality of life, relapse rate and disability. Neurol Res. 2015;37(8):662-673.


7.Jelinek GA, Marck CH, Weiland TJ, Pereira N, van der Meer DM, Hadgkiss EJ. Latitude, sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation: associations with quality of life and disease outcomes in a large international cohort of people with multiple sclerosis. BMC Neurol. 2015;15:132.


8.Hadgkiss EJ, Jelinek GA, Weiland TJ, Pereira NG, Marck CH, van der Meer DM. The association of diet with quality of life, disability, and relapse rate in an international sample of people with multiple sclerosis. Nutr Neurosci. 2015;18(3):125-136.


9.Hadgkiss EJ, Jelinek GA, Taylor KL, et al. Engagement in a program promoting lifestyle modification is associated with better patient-reported outcomes for people with MS. Neurol Sci. 2015;36(6):845-852.


10.Weiland TJ, Hadgkiss EJ, Jelinek GA, Pereira NG, Marck CH, van der Meer DM. The association of alcohol consumption and smoking with quality of life, disability and disease activity in an international sample of people with multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Sci. 2014;336(1-2):211-219.


11.Taylor KL, Hadgkiss EJ, Jelinek GA, et al. Lifestyle factors, demographics and medications associated with depression risk in an international sample of people with multiple sclerosis. BMC Psychiatry. 2014;14:327.


12.Marck CH, Hadgkiss EJ, Weiland TJ, van der Meer DM, Pereira NG, Jelinek GA. Physical activity and associated levels of disability and quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis: a large international survey. BMC Neurol. 2014;14:143.


13.Levin AB, Hadgkiss EJ, Weiland TJ, et al. Can meditation influence quality of life, depression, and disease outcome in multiple sclerosis? Findings from a large international web-based study. Behav Neurol. 2014;2014:916519.


14.Jelinek GA, Hadgkiss EJ, Weiland TJ, Pereira NG, Marck CH, van der Meer DM. Association of fish consumption and Omega 3 supplementation with quality of life, disability and disease activity in an international cohort of people with multiple sclerosis. Int J Neurosci. 2013;123(11):792-800.


15.Hadgkiss EJ, Jelinek GA, Weiland TJ, Pereira NG, Marck CH, van der Meer DM. Methodology of an International Study of People with Multiple Sclerosis Recruited through Web 2.0 Platforms: Demographics, Lifestyle, and Disease Characteristics. Neurol Res Int. 2013;2013:580596.

Research Group

Neuroepidemiology



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Prevention and management of non-communicable diseases (including cancer), and promotion of mental health



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics