Energy Conservation for People with MS-related Fatigue: a Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

EGG Jalon, Sheila Lennon-Fraser, J Hanna, Sam Murphy, Andrea Lowe-Strong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of multiple sclerosis(MS) (Mathiowetz et al., 2005). Although education about energy conservation iswidely used in the clinical setting, research to ensure evidence-based practice is still limited(MSC, 1998; Brañas et al., 2000; The National Collaborating Centre for Chronic Conditions, 2004). Aim. To test the methodology for a further randomized controlled trial. Toevaluate the impact of an energy conservation programme (ECP). Design. Pilot randomized controlled trial. Method. A convenience sample of 13 people with MS was randomly allocated to two groups. The experimental intervention was an ECP and the control interventiona peer support group which received information about MS and its treatment. Both interventions were delivered in group format once a week for six weeks in two-hour sessions.Outcome Measures. The Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS), Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), MS Impact Scale-29 (MSIS-29) and MS Self-effi cacy Scale (MSSS). Statistics. Repeated- measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Statistical analysis was conducted on anintention to treat (ITT) and compliers only basis. Results. There were significant reductionsover time in the FIS for both groups (p = 0.004). Although the experimental group showed larger reductions in the FIS, the difference between groups was not significant (p = 0.12). Similarly, both groups showed a strong trend towards significant differences over time for the FSS and MSSS (p = 0.05), but differences between the groups were not significant (p = 0.58). Differences for the MSIS-29 were neither signifi cant over time (p =0.58) nor between the groups (p = 0.66). Conclusion. This pilot study shows that an ECPmay be benefi cial and supports further evaluation of the effect of an ECP in the managementof MS-related fatigue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-140
JournalPhysiotherapy Research International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Sept 2008


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