Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Group therapy helps multiple sclerosis patients cope with depression, study finds

Date:
June 13, 2011
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
Offering multiple sclerosis sufferers emotional support through group therapy sessions could improve their quality of life.

Offering Multiple Sclerosis sufferers emotional support through group therapy sessions could improve their quality of life and save the NHS almost £500 per patient, a study at The University of Nottingham has discovered.

Related Articles


Researchers are now planning a larger multi-centre study into the issue to establish whether psychological therapy should be incorporated into the MS services currently provided by the NHS.

The study, funded by the MS Society, was led by Professor Nadina Lincoln, of the University's Institute of Work, Health and Organisations. She said: "These are very encouraging findings as many people with MS have problems with depression and anxiety and there are few treatments provided in NHS clinical services to address these. It is important that the psychological effects of MS are fully recognised as they can have a devastating effect on people's lives."

Depression and anxiety are common among sufferers of MS, a disabling neurological condition that affects around 100,000 people in the UK.

Previous studies have suggested that depression in MS can lead to patients failing to take their medication and a reduced quality of life. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines also recognise that many people with both MS and depression or anxiety would prefer not to take antidepressants and recommends that psychological therapies should be offered as an alternative.

For the Nottingham study researchers recruited MS patients currently attending clinics run by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, as well as inviting referrals from specialist MS nurses and placing adverts in publications produced by the MS Society.

The volunteers were asked to complete questionnaires about how MS affects their daily lives and the extent to which they felt in control.

The patients were then randomly divided into two groups of just over 70 people. One group received all the usual care offered to MS and were put on a waiting list to receive group therapy at the end of the study.

The other group were invited to attend a course of six two-hour sessions of group therapy attended by up to eight participants at a time. Each session was led by a research psychologist, supervised by a qualified clinical psychologist with experience of working with people with MS.

Each session focussed on a topic, such as worry, gloom and relationships and was followed by practical exercises in strategies to cope with emotional problems and group discussion. They finished with relaxation exercises and group members were given tasks centred on practising coping strategies between sessions.

To assess the effectiveness of the sessions, questionnaires were sent to the participants at both four and eight months later and the results of those who received treatment were compared to those on the waiting list only.

The researchers found that those MS sufferers who attended the group sessions had fewer problems with anxiety and depression, the impact of the disease on their daily lives was reduced and their quality of life improved.

In terms of potential savings to the NHS, the researchers have also collected information on cost, which will be submitted for a future publication. They found that costs were reduced by £470 per patient for those who attended the therapy sessions compared with usual care. It was shown to almost halve the cost of visits to the GP, falling from £11,340 at the start of the study to just £5,832 at the eight month follow up. The costs of outpatient hospital visits were also slashed from £32,592 at the beginning of the study to £21,534 at the eight-month follow-up.

The next stage of the research will be to assess whether the group therapy approach works equally well in other centres through a larger study with the hope that the treatment could potentially be provided through NHS services for those with MS.

Dr Susan Kohlhass from the MS Society said: "Knowing group-based sessions can reduce anxiety and depression is a strong development towards improving the quality of peoples' lives with MS. We are committed to funding work that will imminently benefit people with the condition and this is a great example. The next stage will be to find if this approach is as effective in other areas of the country."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. N. B. Lincoln, F. Yuill, J. Holmes, A. E. Drummond, C. S. Constantinescu, S. Armstrong, C. Phillips. Evaluation of an adjustment group for people with multiple sclerosis and low mood: a randomized controlled trial. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1177/1352458511408753

Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "Group therapy helps multiple sclerosis patients cope with depression, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613082022.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2011, June 13). Group therapy helps multiple sclerosis patients cope with depression, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613082022.htm
University of Nottingham. "Group therapy helps multiple sclerosis patients cope with depression, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110613082022.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins