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Study Explores Fatigue Management in MS Patients

November 9, 2015

In a recent study published in the journal BMJ Open, a research team explored the use of fatigue management strategies in patients with multiple sclerosis who attended a group based fatigue management program. Fatigue is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms found in an MS patient, affecting almost 90% of patients.

In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence suggested that health care professionals treating patients with MS should consider mindfulness therapy, cognitive behavior therapy or fatigue management. They also advise to preach stretching and yoga to all patients. This program was called FACETS.

The study aimed to understand the outcomes of the program in 72 MS patients, who reported fatigue and had attended a minimum of four of the six scheduled FACETS sessions. After four months of the intervention program, all patients were asked to complete the Fatigue Management Strategies Questionnaire (FMSQ), a tool to assess the effectiveness of the program.

Fifty-nine of the patients completed the FMSQ. Patients reported that the fatigue management techniques most regularly used since attending FACETS were prioritization, pacing, saying no to others, grading tasks, and challenging unhelpful thoughts. The three most used strategies were:

  • Prioritization
  • Grading
  • Pacing