Effectiveness of online and face-to-face fatigue self-management programmes for adults with neurological conditions

Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(7):564-73. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.613518. Epub 2011 Oct 12.


Purpose: To evaluate effectiveness of a face-to-face and an online fatigue self-management programme and to compare these to two control groups (information-only and no-intervention) in a sample of adults (n = 115) with neurological conditions reporting extreme fatigue.

Method: Non-equivalent pre-test post-test control group design using the Fatigue Impact Scale, Personal Wellbeing Index and Activity Card Sort as primary outcome measures.

Results: Participants in the two intervention groups and the information-only group showed clinically significant improvements in fatigue over time (p < 0.05). When compared to the no-intervention group, face-to-face participants showed significantly greater improvement in overall and cognitive fatigue, while participants in the online group showed significant improvement in self-efficacy and stress.

Conclusion: Participation in either the online or face-to-face programme appears to result in improved self-management, however, with different potency depending on outcomes. The improvement in the online information only group further complicates the understanding of the results. With few other comparisons of online and face-to-face self-management protocols available, further research is needed to understand differential impacts which may be related to the delivery format, the rural versus urban split of participants or other unknown factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Fatigue / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult