Effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Fatigue


1 Assistant Professor, Shahid Beheshti University

2 Assistant Professor, Payam e Noor University, Tehran, Iran 3Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran

3 Clinical Psychologist


Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) has a wide range of physiological and neuropsychological symptoms. Over 75% of MS patients complain about fatigue, which for many is one of their most debilitating symptoms, having a substantial impact on their quality of life and ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Previous investigations on effectiveness of different types of psychotherapy on MS fatigue are so limited, so the aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a therapy for MS fatigue.Method:  Using convenient sampling, 22 patients with fatigue symptoms (score of ≥5 on Fatigue Scale) were assigned randomly into experimental (n=11) and control (n=11) groups. Subjects in experimental group attended eight 50-minute sessions of weekly CBT based on van Kessel’s model, whereas the patients in control group attended in eight 50-minute weekly sessions of relaxation training. All the subjects completed the fatigue scale at the end of the therapy and 12 weeks follow-up. Results: Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) data indicated that the CBT group reported greater reductions in fatigue symptoms, although fatigue scores of both groups were decreased. Fatigue scores of the experimental group were significantly reduced in follow-up assessment.Conclusion: Results indicated that cognitive behavioral therapy appears to be a clinically effective treatment for fatigue in MS and could be implemented as complementary therapy for MS patients in order to promote their quality of life.


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