Examining the real world effectiveness and potential of a remotely-delivered psychological treatment for people with MS

  • Gandy, Milena (Primary Chief Investigator)
  • Dear, Blake (Chief Investigator)
  • Titov, Nick (Associate Investigator)
  • Karin, Eyal (Associate Investigator)
  • Balakumar, Tanya (Associate Investigator)
  • Francis, Heather (Associate Investigator)
  • Oxenham, Vincent (Associate Investigator)
  • Fontes Villalba , Ariadna (Associate Investigator)
  • Parratt, John (Associate Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details

Description

Mental health (e.g., anxiety, depression) and functional difficulties (e.g., cognitive problems) are highly comorbid in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However, access to effective psychological treatments are very limited. People with MS face many barriers (e.g., costs, limited trained clinicians, mobility issues) accessing effective psychological care in the community. Moreover, limited resourcing has meant that specialist mental health and other supportive care has yet to be integrated into neurology settings as has occurred in other areas, such as cancer care.

I have led an innovative program of research to overcome many of these barriers, including the development of the world’s first remotely-delivered psychological treatment program (the Wellbeing Neuro Course) for adults with neurological disorders. This innovative program targets mental health and functional outcomes, and has been found to highly acceptable and efficacious in a large Phase I feasibility trial (n = 105; 29 people with MS) and in a large Phase II Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT; n=221; 89 with MS).

The proposed research builds on the success of these trials via two critical trials. First, a large Phase-III RCT will evaluate the long-term efficacy, acceptability, and safety of the Wellbeing Neuro Course when approximating real-world conditions. Second, a gold-standard Phase IV clinical trial will examine the effectiveness, acceptability and safety of the treatment when offered as routine care following implementation at a tertiary MS clinic. Taken together, these trials will address critical knowledge gaps and result in much-needed evidence for an entirely new treatment approach for Australians with MS.
Short titleAdvancing the psychological care of adults with MS
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/01/2231/12/24