The efficacy of telephone counseling for health promotion in people with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled trial.

TitleThe efficacy of telephone counseling for health promotion in people with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled trial.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsBombardier CH, Cunniffe M, Wadhwani R, Gibbons LE, Blake K, Kraft GH
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Date Published2008 Oct
Adult, Aged, Counseling, Female, Health Promotion, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Motivation, Multiple Sclerosis, Statistics, Nonparametric, Telephone, Treatment Outcome

OBJECTIVE: To determine if motivational interviewing-based telephone counseling increases health promotion activities and improves other health outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial with wait-list controls and single-blinded outcome assessments conducted at baseline and at 12 weeks. SETTING: MS research and training center in the Pacific Northwest. PARTICIPANTS: Community-residing persons (N=130) with physician confirmed MS aged 18 or older who were able to walk unassisted at least 90 m (300 ft). INTERVENTION: A single in-person motivational interview followed by 5 scheduled telephone counseling sessions to facilitate improvement in 1 of 6 health promotion areas: exercise, fatigue management, communication and/or social support, anxiety and/or stress management, and reducing alcohol or other drug use. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Health Promotion Lifestyle Profile II plus fatigue impact, subjective health, and objective measures of strength, fitness, and cognition. Intent-to-treat analyses of change scores were analyzed using nonparametric tests. RESULTS: Seventy persons were randomized to treatment and 60 to the control condition. The treatment group reported significantly greater improvement in health promotion activities, including physical activity, spiritual growth, and stress management as well as in fatigue impact and mental health compared with controls. In addition, the exerciser subgroup showed greater improvement than controls in self-selected walking speed. CONCLUSIONS: A less intensive, more accessible approach to health promotion based on telephone counseling and motivational interviewing shows promise and merits further study.

Alternate JournalArch Phys Med Rehabil
PubMed ID18929012

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