Clinical effectiveness of CBT-based self-help for symptoms of fatigue in multiple sclerosis
Gallen, Kirsty Louise
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Purpose: The aim of the systematic review was to address whether psychological interventions were able to reduce fatigue severity or the impact of fatigue in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis. The empirical study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a CBT based self-help workbook at reducing perceived impact of fatigue in a clinical sample of MS patients. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was carried out between the years 1980 and February 2015 to review whether psychological interventions were effective for fatigue management in Multiple Sclerosis. A randomised controlled trial examined the effectiveness of a CBT-based self-help workbook for the reduction of fatigue impact in MS. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups treatment as usual (TAU), pure self-help (PSH) or guided self-help (GSH). Results: Eleven studies were included in the systematic review, which indicated that CBT based interventions aiming to reduce fatigue or depression were most effective at reducing the severity of fatigue. Impact of fatigue can be reduced through mindfulness, CBT, motivational interviewing and to a lesser extent acceptance and commitment therapy. The empirical study did not find any significant differences between groups, however satisfaction with the workbook was high. Conclusions: The review suggests that there is a clear role for psychological interventions in fatigue management in MS, although further robust research into different therapeutic modalities is needed. From the empirical study it appears that the low level CBT-based intervention for fatigue in MS was not effective at reducing the perceived impact of fatigue. This study reflects an inclusive, clinical sample, recruited from a specialist rehabilitation unit, with high levels of multidisciplinary input which may have diluted any potential effect of the workbook. Objectives: The aim of the systematic review was to address whether psychological interventions are able to reduce fatigue severity or the impact of fatigue in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis Data sources: A search was conducted of: Psychinfo, Medline, Embase, CINAHL between 1980 and February 2015. Review methods: All studies were evaluated against a set of quality criteria by author (KG) with a proportion of studies being independently reviewed by author (DP) to ensure reliability of ratings. Results: Eleven studies were included in the review. CBT based interventions with a focus on fatigue management and depression appear to significantly reduce fatigue severity with medium to large effect. Significant reductions in fatigue impact can be found from mindfulness groups, motivational interviewing and CBT. Effect sizes for CBT interventions ranged from negligible to medium. For the mindfulness and motivational interviewing interventions effect sizes were not able to be calculated. The acceptance and commitment therapy intervention did not find a significant reduction in fatigue but found a medium effect for the intervention. Conclusions: There is a clear role for psychological interventions in the reduction of fatigue management but more high quality research needs to be carried out.