The Effect of Continuous Care on the Lifestyle of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. 2017 May-Jun;22(3):225-231. doi: 10.4103/1735-9066.208170.


Background: Multiple sclerosis is a common debilitating chronic disease of the central nervous system with a progressive and prolonged nature. Patients need an adjusted lifestyle and continuous care in order to prevent its recurrence and progressive disabilities. This study aimed to assess the effect of continuous care on lifestyle in patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Materials and methods: A randomized clinical trial was conducted among 72 patients with multiple sclerosis who referred to the Farshchian Educational Hospital in Hamadan, Iran in 2013. The patients were allocated to intervention and control groups using balanced block randomization with blocks of four. The steps of continuous care (orientation, sensitization, control, and evaluation) were implemented in the case group for 2 months. The patients' lifestyle was assessed before and 1 and 2 months after continuous care using the researcher-developed Lifestyle Questionnaire. The data were analyzed using the Chi-square test, t-test, and repeated-measures analysis of variance.

Results: The mean score of lifestyle and its dimensions were significantly higher in the intervention group 1 and 2 months after the intervention compared to the baseline (P = 0.001). In contrast, the mean score of lifestyle and its dimensions had no significant difference in the control group 1 and 2 months after routine care compared to the baseline.

Conclusions: Continuous care improved the patients' lifestyle. It could be designed as an appropriate care system into the hospitals or other health care centers. This care system could be used widely in order to improve adherence to suitable lifestyle in patients with chronic diseases.

Keywords: Continous care; Iran; lifestyle; multiple sclerosis.