Developing a novel telephone delivered self-management intervention for multiple sclerosis

TitleDeveloping a novel telephone delivered self-management intervention for multiple sclerosis
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2012
AuthorsWazenkewitz JL, Verrall A, Garza A, Smith AE, Ehde DM
Conference NameAmerican Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting
Conference LocationSan Francisco, CA

Background: Self-management interventions have been effective in increasing symptom management and self-efficacy in several chronic diseases populations (e.g. diabetes, arthritis), but are just beginning to be applied to multiple sclerosis (MS). There are often barriers to accessing in-person psychosocial services, including lack of transportation or distance from providers. “Take Charge of Your MS” is an individually tailored telephone-delivered self-management intervention developed to address these challenges. Methods: Take Charge is a randomized controlled trail aimed at reducing the occurrence and impact of fatigue, depression, and pain, as well as building self-efficacy for managing the multiple effects of MS. Development of this project included utilizing MS consumer focus group input, piloting, and adapting key concepts from other self-management and CBT interventions, to develop an 8-session telephone-based intervention complete with comprehensive participant workbooks. Each session focuses on key concepts of self-management: self-monitoring, goal-setting, problem solving, energy management, thought management, emotional regulation, and relaxation techniques. Participants learn and rehearse new skills as well as how to tailor them to their unique life situations. Skill-based homework is required between sessions. Results: The study is still in progress. Early feedback from participants includes positive reception to the program, good adherence to homework skills practice, reports of integration of skills into daily routines, and continued skills use after completion of the program. Conclusion: It is feasible to adapt existing self-management and cognitive behavioral interventions to address the multiple symptoms of MS. Results of the RCT will be important for determining the efficacy of this approach.

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