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Development and Evaluation of a Cognitive Rehabilitation Program for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS Cognitive Rehab)
Start date: Jan 1, 2009, End date: Dec 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a common, progressive neurological condition. Up to 65% of people with MS (PwMS) will experience cognitive impairments as a result of the disease. Cognitive impairments in MS are persistent and have a significant negative impact on the ability to work, perform daily activities, and independently participate in society. Therefore, successful management of cognitive impairments through rehabilitation is critical for this population. Current knowledge about the effects of cognitive rehabilitation in MS is based largely on studies that tested interventions focused on remediating impairments. Comparatively, less is known about the effectiveness of compensatory-based cognitive rehabilitation for this population. My past research has involved developing and testing a self-management, compensatory cognitive rehabilitation program for PwMS. This research showed initial positive results and indicated that participants increased their knowledge and self-efficacy regarding cognitive symptoms, and reported using cognitive strategies in daily activities. However, in order to determine the programs clinical impact and continue to examine it as an evidence-based intervention, more research is needed to modify the program and evaluate it under a more rigorous methodological design. In addition, the program needs to fit the MS rehabilitation structure in Israel and be culturally appropriate for Israeli PwMS. Therefore, this study will include four steps: (1) Learning about MS cognitive research and practice in Israel, (2) Modifying the cognitive program with the aid of a multi-disciplinary work group of MS researchers, professionals, PwMS and caregivers, (3) Selecting screening and outcome measures that fit the revised program, and (4) Testing the revised cognitive program using a mixed methods design that includes a randomized controlled trial and process evaluation. This project will be documented for future replication in other European counties.
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