Background: The problems imposed by multiple sclerosis (MS) can affect the patients’ mental health socially and psychologically. Patients must thus acquire practical coping mechanisms to deal with their illness and go on living. The present study examined the impact of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and imagery rescripting and reprocessing treatment (IRRT) on emotional tiredness in MS-affected women.
Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, the statistical population comprised 145 women with MS who had registered in the Iran MS Society in Tehran, Iran from May to October 2019. A sample of 45 was conveniently selected and randomly divided into two experimental and one control group (15 patients per group). The control group received no training, whereas the first experimental group experienced seven sessions of IRRT, the second experimental group underwent eight 90-minute sessions of MBCT. The data were collected using Emotional Exhaustion subscale of the Maslach Burnout Inventory. The repeated-measures ANOVA was used to analyze the data.
Results: Based on the results, two therapies significantly differed in terms of emotional exhaustion (P<0.001). The mean (SD) of the post-test score of emotional exhaustion in the MBCT and IRRT groups was 40.73 (1.66) and 41.20 (1.47), respectively, which was different from the control group (43.76(1.80)). However, there was no significant difference between the effectiveness of the two therapies on emotional exhaustion in women with MS. The effects of the interventions on emotional exhaustion persisted during three-month follow-up.
Conclusions: IRRT and MBCT can be recommended as effective interventions to improve the emotional exhaustion of women with MS.