Informing interventions to combat fatigue

Disentangling the relationship between physical activity and fatigue in MS

Project reference number: HLSLTC009


People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) their families and health care professionals ranked fatigue as the most important specific symptom requiring effective treatment. There is some evidence that prescribed ‘exercise’ helps to reduce fatigue in those with MS, also that keeping active is generally beneficial for health. However, there is a gap in our knowledge about how daily routines of physical activity and sedentary behaviour influence patterns of fatigue.


To measure routine physical activity (body-worn sensors) in those with MS and to simultaneously monitor fatigue (self-reported), exploring the relationship between these.

To perform initiation steps in developing an intervention to modify daily physical activity patterns to reduce fatigue.


It is possible that modification of routine physical activity can be used to manage fatigue. Guidelines for the self-management of daily physical activity for optimising the reduction of fatigue would enhance quality of life and improve general health in those with MS, whilst also potentially reducing NHS costs. This has potential to inform new practice guidelines for advising people with MS concerning self-management of everyday physical activity.

Application deadline

The application deadline for October intake is 1st of July.

Research supervisors

Candidates are encouraged to contact the following researchers for further details:

Modes of study

This project is available as a:

  • PhD: 3 years full-time.
  • 1 + 3 route to PhD: Undertaking MRes [1 year full-time] + PhD as above


Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.

Specific requirements of the project

The successful candidate should have demonstrated abilities in the analysis of quantitative data. It may be helpful if the candidate was from a health professions background, e.g. physiotherapy, occupational therapy. They should hold a minimum of a first degree (2:1 or above).