Efficacy of an energy conservation course for persons with multiple sclerosis

Virgil Mathiowetz, Kathleen M. Matuska, Megan E. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of an energy conservation course on fatigue impact, self-efficacy, and quality of life (QOL) for persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Design: Repeated measures with control and experimental interventions conducted during a 19-week study. Setting: Community-based treatment center. Participants: A convenience sample of 54 individuals from 79 community-dwelling volunteers with fatigue secondary to MS. Intervention: A 6-session, 2-hr/wk energy conservation course taught by occupational therapists for groups of 8 to 10 participants. Main Outcome Measures: Fatigue Impact Scale (self-report measure of fatigue impact on cognitive, physical, social functions), Self-Efficacy Gauge (self-report measure of confidence in ability to perform specific behaviors), and Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (QOL measure). Results: Participants reported, as predicted, significantly less fatigue impact, increased self-efficacy, and improved QOL (ie, 3 of 4 subscales expected to improve). There were no significant differences, as predicted, in any of the dependent variables after the control (ie, support group) and no intervention periods. Conclusion: Results provide strong evidence for the efficacy of this energy conservation course for persons with MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-456
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by grants from the Minnesota Medical Foundation and the American Occupational Therapy Foundation.

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Conservation of energy resources
  • Fatigue
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rehabilitation


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