Improving fatigue and depression in individuals with multiple sclerosis using telephone-administered physical activity counseling

Aaron P. Turner, Narineh Hartoonian, Alicia P. Sloan, Marisa Benich, Daniel R. Kivlahan, Christina Hughes, Abbey J. Hughes, Jodie K. Haselkorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the impact of a physical activity intervention consisting of telephone counseling with home-based monitoring to improve fatigue and depression in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Method: Single-blind randomized controlled trial. Sixty-four individuals with MS received either telephone counseling (N = 31), or self-directed physical activity education (N = 33). The education condition (EC) consisted of advice to increase physical activity and a DVD with examples of in-home exercises for multiple physical ability levels. The telephone counseling condition (TC) included EC as well as mailed graphic feedback, 6 telephone counseling sessions using principles of motivational interviewing, and telehealth home monitoring to track progress on physical activity goals. Booster sessions were provided when participants indicated they did not meet their goals. Assessment was conducted at baseline, 3-month, and 6-month follow-up. Results: TC participants reported significantly reduced fatigue (d = -.70), reduced depression (d = -.72) and increased physical activity (d = .92) relative to EC participants. Of individuals receiving TC, 33.3% experienced clinically significant improvement in fatigue (vs. 18.2% in EC) and 53.3% experienced clinically significant improvement in depression (vs. 9.1% in EC). Improvements in physical activity mediated improvements in fatigue with a similar trend for depression. TC was highly feasible (participants completed 99.5% of schedule telephone sessions) and well tolerated (100% rated it highly successful). Conclusion: Telephone-based counseling with home monitoring is a promising modality to improve physical activity and treat fatigue and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-309
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Volume84
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Physical activity
  • Self-management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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