Promoting resilience in individuals aging with multiple sclerosis: Results from a pilot randomized controlled trial.

TitlePromoting resilience in individuals aging with multiple sclerosis: Results from a pilot randomized controlled trial.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAlschuler KN, Arewasikporn A, Nelson IK, Molton IR, Ehde DM
JournalRehabilitation Psychology
Date Published07/2018

Starting in middle adulthood, individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS) are confronted with the simultaneous challenge of coping with advancing MS alongside age-related changes. Psychological resilience is thought to play an important role in promoting healthy aging and thus may be important in the context of aging with MS. This study aimed to evaluate whether Everyday Matters, a novel positive psychology program, had a positive effect on resilience and other related outcomes in adults with MS relative to a wait-list control group. Research Method/Design: This was a single-center two-group pilot randomized (1:1) controlled trial comparing the Everyday Matters intervention to a waitlist control. Randomized participants were N = 31 adults with MS aged ≥ 45 years. The 6-week program, developed by the National MS Society, was delivered via group teleconference and supplemented with readings, videos, and online participation. Participants in both groups completed outcome assessments measuring resilience, satisfaction with social roles, mood, pain, fatigue, and sleep at baseline and posttreatment. Results: Analyses on N = 27 participants who completed study assessments revealed a significant group effect for resilience and satisfaction with social roles, and trend differences for positive affect and well-being and depressive symptom severity. At posttreatment, participants in the intervention group reported the group to be very helpful, found the telephone-based delivery convenient, and felt the benefits of participating outweighed the effort. Conclusions/Implications: These results suggest that the Everyday Matters program shows promise for increasing resilience in adults with MS and that a full-scale randomized controlled trial is warranted.