The goals of this program, called My MS Toolkit (www.mymstoolkit.com/), are to provide evidence-based education, guidance, and skills-building exercises that are specifically tailored for people with MS. The program also contains content for family and friends. Through all stages of development, the investigators worked with a stakeholder panel of individuals with MS (n=4) who provided ongoing feedback on the content and format of the website to ensure the usability/accessibility and relevance of My MS Toolkit to those with MS. They then performed pilot testing of My MS Toolkit in a group of 20 people with MS who reported clinically significant pain, fatigue, and/or depressive symptoms. Pilot study participants completed pre-treatment outcome measures, followed by 12 weeks of intervention (self-guided use of My MS Toolkit), and then a battery of post-treatment outcome measures. Through this pilot work, the researchers are evaluating the impact of My MS Toolkit, on the user’s self-efficacy to manage symptoms, global perceptions of change, and treatment response in terms of symptom reduction pre- to post-intervention. The study is currently in the final phase of data analysis, and outcomes related to initial effects of the treatment are expected to be published this year. My MS Toolkit is currently freely available to the public.
Dr. Kratz’s work will provide a supportive tool for clinical care teams and individuals as a complement to their medical support team.