The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Teleconferencing for fatigue managment in MS patients

    Fatigue is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS) that challenges patients in their daily activities.

    Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago compared teleconference to face-to-face, group-based fatigue self-management. The results were reported during the Joint Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and America’s Committee on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis meeting.

    First, the details.

    • 190 patients, average of 55 years old and 15 years with MS, were randomly assigned to treatment group.
      • The teleconference group: 70-minute sessions weekly for 6 weeks, delivered by an occupational therapist.
      • Control group that received no therapy
    • Training focused on the strategic use of rest; communication; activity analysis and modification; and setting priorities about energy use.
    • Patients received a telephone headset and a training manual, and called a toll-free number.
    • Teleconferences consisted of a discussion led by a therapist.
    • Patients received homework for the next session.
    • Outcome measures included the Fatigue Impact Scale and the Short Form Health Status Survey (SF-36).
    • Patients were evaluated before and after the study, and at 6 weeks, 3 and 6 months later.

    And, the results.

    • Fatigue severity improved in both groups.
    • Treatment also improved physical health immediately after the study, and mental health by 6 weeks.
    • On average, the positive response to teleconferencing was maintained 3 and 6 months after completing the program.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “A group-based, teleconference-delivered fatigue-management program can reduce the impact of fatigue and improve some aspects of quality of life immediately post-intervention. On average, these effects can be maintained over a 6-month follow-up.”

    Another advantage of teleconferencing is that it makes a healthcare professional available to patients who might otherwise not benefit from counseling.

    6/30/10 11:40 JR

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