OBJECTIVE. Fatigue is a common, troublesome symptom for persons with multiple sclerosis. This study evaluated the effects of an energy conservation course on fatigue impact for persons with multiple sclerosis whose symptoms cause moderate to severe disability.
METHODS. Thirty-seven persons with progressive multiple sclerosis participated in an 8-week experimental energy conservation course treatment and an 8-week control period of traditional treatment using a crossover design. The Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS) was used to assess fatigue impact before and after the experimental and control periods, and 8 weeks post-energy conservation course.
RESULTS. After participation in the energy conservation course, the average FIS total score and physical, cognitive, and psychosocial subscale scores decreased significantly, whereas the total and subscale scores did not change significantly during the control period. Additionally, decreased fatigue impact was maintained 8 weeks after course completion for evaluated participants.
CONCLUSION. This study provides evidence that this energy conservation course can be a beneficial intervention for persons with progressive multiple sclerosis.