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More MS news articles for May 2003

Effects of psychological group therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis

Acta Neurol Scand 2003 Jun;107(6):394-9
Tesar N, Baumhackl U, Kopp M, Gunther V.
Department of Neuorology, General Hospital, Propst-Fuhrer-Strasse 4, St Polten, Austria; Department of Psychiatry, Unit of Clinical Psychology, Innsbruck University Hospital, Anichstrasse 35, Innsbruck, Austria.


The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate a psychological therapy program used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and including cognitive/behavioral strategies, relaxation training and physical exercise.


The participants were 29 patients with MS recruited from an outpatient unit; 14 patients were assigned to the 7-week psychological therapy group (one session per week), the remainder formed a control group.

Before and immediately after the course of therapy and after a 2-month follow-up, the participants completed a series of questionnaires measuring factors such as depression, anxiety, coping and body image.


Compared with the control group the therapy group showed long-term improvements in depressive stress coping style and a short-term improvement in "vitality and body dynamics".


Further studies should investigate the differential effects of specific units of the therapy program and how the short-term improvements in "vitality and body dynamics" could be maintained for longer periods.