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Can a fatigue management programme developed for one centre be replicated at other UK sites?

Nicki Ward-Abel, Catherine Sykes
University Hospital Birmingham and West Berkshire Community Hospital

Fatigue is one of the commonest symptoms of multiple sclerosis and can often have a major impact on people's lives.

Managing and treating fatigue is a challenge because there are limited treatment options with proven efficacy, and drug therapy may have no or limited effect. Treatment is primarily based on helping someone find ways of managing their life to prevent or lessen the impact of fatigue. Strategies include avoiding the build up of fatigue and conserving energy. There is growing evidence that fatigue management programmes can improve an individual's perception of their level of fatigue, as well as their quality of life.

A group fatigue management programme for people with MS was previously developed in a pilot study at University Hospital, Birmingham. The overall aim of this three year study is to test whether the programme can achieve reproducible results when used in a further eight centres throughout the United Kingdom. The eight centres are in Birmingham, Newcastle, Grampian, Shropshire, Burton, Milton Keynes, Reading and Hertfordshire.

The study is evaluating whether individuals who have completed the group fatigue management programme will report less fatigue, more satisfaction with performance and enhanced quality of life compared to those who do not receive the fatigue management programme.

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