Pilot study demonstrates benefits of wellness program for people with MS
Kessler researchers have published a pilot study showing the benefits of a 10-week psychoeducational wellness program in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Improvements were seen in mood, overall mental health, perceived stress, and pain.
"Development and effectiveness of a psychoeducational wellness group for individuals living with MS: Description and outcomes" was published ahead of print on September 3 in the International Journal of MS Care. The authors are Kimberly Beckwith McGuire, PhD, of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and Jelena Stojanovic-Radic, PhD, Lauren Strober, PhD, Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD, and John DeLuca, PhD, of Kessler Foundation.
Of the 54 patients enrolled in the study, 43 participated in the program, which consisted of weekly 90-minute sessions for 10 weeks. The program's objective was to increase awareness of intellectual, emotional and spiritual factors that affect well-being. Participants were assessed by self-report for depression, anxiety, overall mental health, perceived stress, cognitive complaints, pain, social support and fatigue. The 11 participants who did not participate served as the control group.
"Our preliminary findings suggest that individuals with MS may benefit from a comprehensive wellness program," said Dr. McGuire. "In light of these positive findings for mood, mental health, and stress, further studies are warranted," she noted. "To confirm these results, larger, randomized controlled trials with longer followup need to be conducted." The study did not reveal any differences between participants and non-participants for cognitive complaints, social support or fatigue.