Brief Counseling for Health Promotion Among Persons with Multiple Sclerosis.

TitleBrief Counseling for Health Promotion Among Persons with Multiple Sclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsBombardier CH, Blake K, Cunniffe M, Wadhwani R, Hauge J, Kraft GH
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care

Objective: To determine whether a brief counseling program can improve the health of people with MS. 105 community-residing people aged 18 or older with EDSS < 6 were randomized, completed the trial, and provided complete data. Participants had a baseline assessment, then those randomized to the treatment group underwent a single motivational interview followed by 5 scheduled telephone counseling sessions. Controls received exercise promotion, fatigue management, stress management, improving social support or reducing substance abuse. Outcome measures included activity level, self-reported health promotion activities, physical strength, endurance and speed, cognition, subjective health, social support, fatigue impact, and substance use. Preliminary analyses consisted of between-groups t-tests conducted on individual change scores with significance set at p < .05. 66% chose to exercise, 15% wanted to manage stress better, 10% wanted to improve their social support, 7% wanted to work on fatigue management, and 1% wanted help with substance abuse. The treatment group improved significantly more than the control group on the following self-selected walking speed and most subscales of the Health Promoting Lifestyles Profile II (HPLP II) including the total score, physical activity, spiritual growth, and stress management. Separate analysis of the group that chose to exercise showed that this group improved more than controls on the SF-36 vitality scale, physical fatigue impact, emotional social support, self-selected walking speed and overall activity level. This group also reported greater positive change on the HPLP II total score and physical activity scale. This brief, largely telephone-based intervention resulted in greater improvement on several key health promotion measures compared to controls. Exercise promotion seems especially popular and effective. A previous longitudinal study showed improved health promotion activities may result in less decline in functional ability (Stuifbergen & Becker, 2001).

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