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Client–led research and intervention development: Exploring people with Multiple Sclerosis’ experiences of psychological therapies

Fragkiadaki, Eva; Cotterill, Nikki; Rice, Claire; Smith, Jonathan; Nizza, Isabella


Eva Fragkiadaki
Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology

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N Nikki Cotterill
Professor of Long Term Conditions (Continence Care)

Claire Rice

Jonathan Smith

Isabella Nizza


There is a high prevalence of anxiety and depression among people with Multiple Sclerosis. Therapeutic modalities have been proven effective on the management of stress, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Mindfulness being most prominent in the literature.
The experience of psychological interventions for 20 people with MS (pwMS) was explored in a naturalistic design where qualitative and quantitative data on quality of life, anxiety, depression and fatigue were collected at two different times. The findings of that study, along with further consultation from PPI group and practitioners with relevant expertise, led to the development of an online integrative group intervention for people with MS. The intervention is currently explored in terms of feasibility and acceptability through a mixed methods longitudinal design. The study is conducted in collaboration with Bristol and Avon Multiple Sclerosis Centre, North Bristol Trust. Qualitative interviews are conducted at three different times before and after the intervention, following Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis guidelines. Three inventories on quality of life, emotion regulation, depression and anxiety are also administered before and three times after the intervention.
Preliminary findings of the feasibility study will be presented which are aspired provide significant information on how the intervention will be appraised by participants that take part, helpful and unhelpful aspects of the intervention based on their experiences and accounts. Findings will give valuable information for the design of the consequent evaluation study.
Generic models of psychological interventions often cannot address the complexity and unpredictability of MS. Following recent developments of process – based psychological interventions, psychological approaches can be developed based upon the specific characteristics of the condition of pwMS, adapting to their needs and preferences. The presentation aims to illustrate how pwMS’ voices and accounts can guide psychological intervention programmes as well as methods of evaluation of these programmes.


Fragkiadaki, E., Cotterill, N., Rice, C., Smith, J., & Nizza, I. (2023, June). Client–led research and intervention development: Exploring people with Multiple Sclerosis’ experiences of psychological therapies. Presented at Division of Counselling Psychology Annual Conference, York St John University

Presentation Conference Type Speech
Conference Name Division of Counselling Psychology Annual Conference
Conference Location York St John University
Start Date Jun 16, 2023
End Date Jun 17, 2023
Deposit Date Jun 30, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jul 3, 2023
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