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Auditory-guided imagery can reduce multiple sclerosis patients’ fatigue and stigma and improve their mood.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the white matter (WM) with progressive neurodegeneration, and it is the most common cause of neurological impairment in young adults.

This double-blind clinical trial was published in BMC Neurology and undertaken on 60 MS patients to evaluate the efficacy of guided imagery on fatigue, stigma, and mood. Participants were selected via convenience sampling and then randomly assigned to intervention (n = 30) and control (n = 30) groups using the block randomization approach. The intervention group listened to an audio recording of guided imagery at home for 25 minutes. The group serving as the control received no intervention. Before and one month after the intervention, data were obtained using demographic information questionnaires, the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), the Reece Stigma Scale for Multiple Sclerosis (RSS-MS), and the Profile of Mood States (POMS).

In terms of fatigue, stigma, and mood, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups before the intervention. After the intervention, however, statistically, significant alterations were identified (P < 0.0001). In the intervention group, the mean fatigue score decreased from 59.72 ± 18.32 to 35.8 ± 16.15, and the mean stigma score decreased from 17.31 ± 15.62 to 5.09 ± 8.06, demonstrating a substantial reduction in fatigue and stigma levels compared to before the intervention. In addition, the average mood score decreased from 36.90 ± 12.21 to 28.55 ±11.87, showing an improvement in the mood of intervention group participants.

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Study results at one month following the intervention demonstrated that auditory-guided imagery was helpful for fatigue, stigma, and mood for all types of MS. The results showed that guided imagery, as a cost-effective approach, can reduce MS patients’ fatigue and stigma and improve their mood.

It is suggested that healthcare professionals enhance their knowledge of non-invasive approaches, such as complementary medicine, by scheduling in-service training courses to learn the value of these strategies in reducing MS patients’ fatigue, mood, and stigma. Guided imagery is a beneficial, cost-effective strategy that requires no specific equipment and may be implemented in most circumstances.  This study’s findings can also serve as a foundation for future research. 

 

Beitollahi, M., Forouzi, M. A., Tirgari, B., & Jahani, Y. (2022). Fatigue, stigma, and mood in patients with multiple sclerosis: effectiveness of guided imagery. BMC Neurol, 22(1), 152. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-022-02677-3