Purpose: A cognitive behavioural group promoting psychological adjustment for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) was found to reduce psychological distress. Not all those offered treatment attended the group sessions. The aims were to examine the rates of attendance and to evaluate feedback from participants.
Method: Participants with MS and low mood were recruited to a randomized trial comparing attendance at a psychological support group with a usual care control group. The attendance at each session was determined and those who attended were compared with those who failed to attend using a Mann-Whitney U-test or chi-squared. A sample of participants completed a telephone feedback questionnaire to determine their views of the group.
Results: The 44 participants who attended four or more sessions were not significantly different from the 28 who attended fewer than four sessions on demographic variables, disability, self-efficacy or quality of life, but significantly fewer men attended than women (p = 0.03). Participants' feedback from the group was mainly positive, and no factors were identified associated with non-attendance.
Conclusions: Men were less likely to attend group treatment sessions than women, but no other variables were associated with non-attendance. Attendance rates influence the effectiveness of interventions and reasons for non-attendance need to be determined.