Clin Rehabil 2002 Mar;16(2):119-28
O'Hara L, Cadbury H, De SL, Ide L.
Research Group, NFER-Nelson, Darville House, Windsor, UK.
The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of a patient-focused professionally guided self-care programme for the management of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the community.
This was a single-blind randomized controlled trial.
The study was conducted with people with MS living in the community.
Two hundred and seventy-eight people with MS were invited to take part in the study. One hundred and eighty-nine people consented to take part (68%). Of these 183 began the study and 169 (92.3%) completed it. Seventy-three individuals were in the intervention group and 96 were in the control group.
The intervention comprised discussion of self-care based on client priorities, using an information booklet about self-care.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:
These included the Barthel Index, a measure of mobility, the SF-36, and the Standard Day Dependency Record (SDDR) which measures the need for assistance with daily activities. Assessments were conducted at baseline and again six months later.
Changes in health status were small. However, at follow-up the intervention group had better SF-36 health scores, in mental health (p = 0.04), and vitality (p = 0.05) and considered help with daily activities to be less essential, as measured by the SDDR (p = 0.04), than the control group. Participants in the intervention group had maintained levels of independence at follow-up (p = 0.62) while the control group showed a significant decrease in independence (p= 0.001).
This intervention could be a useful aid for health professionals who are supporting people with MS living in the community.