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A coping skills group and peer telephone support had similar effects on role performance, adaptability, and wellbeing in patients with multiple sclerosis

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QUESTION: For patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), is a coping skills group intervention more effective than telephone peer support for improving or maintaining long term psychosocial role performance, adaptability, and wellbeing?


Randomised {allocation not concealed}*, unblinded, controlled trial with 2 years of follow up.


Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Patients were recruited from an MS clinic, newspapers, newsletters, and referrals. Inclusion criteria were neurologist confirmed diagnosis of MS and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score 1–8.5 (minimal neurological problems to requirement of a wheelchair). 136 patients were randomised and 132 patients (mean age 43 y, 74% women, mean duration of MS 8 y, 42% with progressive MS, mean income US$45 000) …

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  • Sources of funding: National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Fetzer Institute; Agency for Health Care Policy and Research; Franklin Institute.

  • For correspondence: Dr C E Schwartz, Frontier Science & Technology Research Foundation, Inc, 1244 Boylston Street, Suite 303, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA. Fax +1 508 856 1212.

  • * *Information provided by author.