Research Projects

The Use of Actual Reality to Measure Everyday Life Functional Activity in Multiple Sclerosis

Funded By: Biogen IDEC

Year Funded: 2013

Yael Goverover, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, New York University
John DeLuca, Ph.D.,Vice-President for Research, Kessler Foundation

Project Abstract 

This study investigates how people with Multiple Sclerosis perform everyday life tasks. It is now well documented that multiple sclerosis (MS) can have dramatic effects on performance of everyday life activity. Despite this knowledge, the ability to assess problems in everyday functional activity remains elusive. Outcome measures in MS have been geared primarily towards assessment of “impairment” and/or self-report instruments of quality of life (QOL). This study will test a new and innovative assessment for measuring actual everyday life activities called “Actual Reality” (AR). AR is a performance-based assessment approach that involves utilization of the internet to perform three actual everyday life activities, which include purchasing:  (1) an airline ticket, (2) cookies and, (3) pizza for a party. AR is a significant step forward in broadening the scope of assessing the performance of Instrumental Activities of Daily Living and making the assessments more accessible and relevant to persons with MS. The study will focus on the development and the initial establishment of psychometric properties (e.g., reliability) of the AR tasks.