Systematic reviews have indicated a low level of evidence for the positive effects of neuropsychological and cognitive rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis (MS). How permanent the positive effects are, is unknown.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether short-term neuropsychological rehabilitation has long-term beneficial effects in a nine-month follow-up.
102 relapsing–remitting MS patients with subjective and objective attentional deficits were randomized into intervention and control groups. Altogether 78 out of 102 patients (76%) completed the longitudinal follow-up (intervention group 83%, control group 67%). Intervention group received strategy-oriented neuropsychological rehabilitation conducted once a week in 60-minute sessions during thirteen consecutive weeks. The control group received no intervention. Cognitive deficits, mood, fatigue, impact of disease, and quality of life were evaluated with self-reports at baseline, six months, and one year from baseline.
The positive effects of neuropsychological rehabilitation on perceived cognitive deficits were maintained for nine months. Among a subgroup of patients with moderate to severe attentional deficits, positive rehabilitation outcome was even more evident.
The beneficial effects of strategy-oriented neuropsychological rehabilitation on perceived cognitive deficits in MS may be maintained for at least one year after the beginning of the intervention.
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Published online: September 05, 2013
Accepted: August 12, 2013
Received in revised form: August 8, 2013
Received: May 23, 2013
© 2013 Elsevier B.V. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.