Longitudinal predictors & characteristics of OMS engagement in multiple sclerosis

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Steve Simpson, Jr. steve.simpson@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Professor Tracey Weiland tweiland@unimelb.edu.au Personal web page

Project Details

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it has devastating impacts on the quality of life and independent living of the patients so affected.

The HOLISM cohort study (n=2,644 at baseline, n=1,401 at 2.5-yr follow-up, n=952 at 5-yr follow-up) seeks to investigate the relationship between lifestyle factors, including diet, exercise, sufficient sun exposure, supplement use, and stress reduction, with clinical course in MS. These lifestyle factors are central tenets in the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) lifestyle regimen proposed by Professor George Jelinek. While some proportion of the original sample (n=2,466) were recruited via Professor Jelinek’s OMS website or from other online MS-specific blogs and forums, not everyone in the sample was aware of or engaged in the practices proposed by the OMS regimen. It is of interest to the HOLISM study to assess what characteristics – clinical, demographic and lifestyle – determine initial engagement with OMS tenets and with change in OMS engagement thereafter.

This project will examine these determinants of OMS engagement, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and with the change thereof. OMS engagement will be defined in two fashions, one simply self-reported engagement with OMS resources, and the other a derived metric of index analysis scoring participants’ behaviour relative to the OMS criteria. The results of this work will be of immediate application in forthcoming randomised controlled trials of lifestyle modification and clinical outcomes in MS. However, these results will also be of interest more broadly in understanding the characteristics of people who engage in positive lifestyle and health-related behaviours, which will aid in efforts by medical practitioners to improve the healthy lifestyle of people living with MS.

Analysis methods to be employed include linear regression, multilevel mixed-effects linear regression, log-binomial regression, and/or Poisson regression, including univariable and multivariable models, as well as potential inter-group assessment of interaction by sex, age, MS course, or others as appropriate.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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