Project Summary

PCORI has identified multiple sclerosis (MS) as an important research topic. Patients, clinicians, and others want to learn how different treatment strategies, aimed at changing specific symptoms or the overall course of MS, affect patients’ symptoms and quality of life.  To address this issue, PCORI launched a funding initiative in 2015 on Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. This research project is one of the studies PCORI awarded as part this program.

This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.

What is the research about?

About 400,000 Americans have multiple sclerosis, or MS. Fatigue is one of the most common and disabling symptoms of MS. Fatigue can keep people from doing a job or hobby or from spending time with family or friends. Fatigue management courses help patients learn skills to manage their fatigue.

In this study, the research team is comparing three ways to deliver a fatigue management course: by teleconference, by internet, and in person. The team is also testing the formats for different groups of people, such as people in racial minority groups and people who live in rural places.

Who can this research help?

Results from this study may help healthcare providers decide how to provide a fatigue management course for patients with MS. Results may also help patients with MS and their doctors choose the best way for the patients to take part in such a course.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is recruiting 610 adults with MS from community organizations and outpatient clinics. The team is assigning adults, by chance, to receive a seven-week course in fatigue management via teleconference or internet or in person (one-on-one). People in the course are learning skills like how to set goals, take rest breaks, and find ways to save energy. An occupational therapist is leading the course in all formats. The research team is comparing how the three formats affect fatigue and quality of life for patients with MS.

Patients with MS, caregivers, neurologists, and occupational therapists are helping to recruit patients and collect data.

Research methods at a glance

Design ElementsDescription
DesignRandomized controlled trial
PopulationAdults 18 years of age and older with MS and a Fatigue Severity scale score ≥4
  • MS fatigue management course delivered via teleconference
  • MS fatigue management course delivered via internet
  • MS fatigue management course delivered in person

Primary: fatigue

Secondary: quality of life

Timeframe  Timeframe Length of follow-up for collecting data on primary outcomes. View Glossary 6-month follow-up for primary outcome

Project Information

Matthew A. Plow, PhD
Case Western Reserve University
Comparing the Effectiveness of Fatigue Management Programs for People with MS

Key Dates

September 2017
June 2024

Study Registration Information


Has Results
Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: April 19, 2024