New program aims to manage fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis

Researchers have developed a group-based fatigue management program for patients with multiple sclerosis that aims to improve their quality of life.

The FACETS (Fatigue: Applying Cognitive behavioral and Energy effectiveness Techniques to lifeStyle) program was developed by Sarah Thomas, PhD, senior research fellow at Bournemouth University Clinical Research Unit; Peter Thomas, professor Of Health Care Stats & Epidemiology at Bournemouth University; and colleagues from the BU Clinical Research Unit, along with collaborators from the Dorset MS Service at Poole Hospital. FACETS provides people with tools and strategies to manage their energy levels more effectively and supports them to explore different, more helpful ways of thinking about fatigue, according to a press release.

The program is delivered via a series of weekly group sessions, facilitated by two health professionals who have experience of cognitive behavioral approaches and of working with patients with multiple sclerosis. The sessions are highly structured and incorporate a combination of learning techniques, including presentations, group discussions, flipchart exercises and tasks to do at home.

Thomas and collaborators evaluated the program in an MS Society-funded trial in which participants were randomized into two groups; one of which attended the FACETS program in addition to usual care, and one of which continued with their routine care. The results showed the FACETS group demonstrated improvements in fatigue severity and self-efficacy at a 4-month follow-up. A year on from the beginning of the trial, improvements were still sustained and additional improvements in quality of life were even emerging.

Peter Thomas, left and Sarah Thomas, PhD are leaders of the FACET initiative at Bournemouth University.

Source: Bournemouth University


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