Effectiveness of an online fatigue self-management programme for people with chronic neurological conditions: a randomised controlled trial
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Objective: To evaluate an online fatigue self-management programme in a sample of adults with chronic neurological conditions. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Online fatigue self-management programme delivered across Australia. Participants: Ninety-five people with fatigue secondary to multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or post-polio syndrome. Interventions: An online fatigue self-management programme, an information-only fatigue self-management programme and a control group. Main measures: Groups were compared at pre test, post test and at three months on primary outcomes using the Fatigue Impact Scale, Activity Card Sort and Personal Wellbeing Index. Results: With the exception of the Personal Wellbeing Index at post test (F = 3.519; P =0.034) and the Physical Subscale of the Fatigue Impact Scale at follow-up (F = 3.473; P =0.035) there were no significant differences between the three groups on primary outcomes. Post-hoc testing showed the differences to be between the information-only and control groups (P = 0.036 and P = 0.030 respectively). Improvement in the information-only group was unexpected but appears to be similar to results of other online interventions. The fatigue self-management and information-only groups performed better than the control on some secondary outcome measures. Low power in the analysis may have contributed to the findings. Repeated-measures ANCOVA showed that the fatigue self-management and the information-only groups improved over time on the Fatigue Impact Scale and the Activity Card Sort (P<0.05). The control group showed no improvements over time.
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