In partnership with Bournemouth University, we've launched a free online management course to help people with MS fatigue.
To create the tool we translated six successful face-to-face fatigue management workshops from the University of Bournemouth into accessible online sessions, so more people with MS access to them. This includes people with mobility impairments, those working full time, and those living in areas where the course isn't available.
The online sessions each last 20 minutes, and aim to normalise the effects of MS fatigue. They use different strategies and techniques to teach people with MS to recognise unhelpful thought patterns and provide techniques to overcome them. Each session has been reviewed by people living with MS fatigue.
Tried and tested
Katherine, who lives with MS, was forced to medically retire from a full-time career in Biomedical Science because of her fatigue. Before taking part in the fatigue management course she was preparing to give up her reduced-hours job as an admin assistant for Public Health England.
Katherine says: “I was slightly sceptical about how the online fatigue-management course would help me, but after just the first session I’d learnt loads. I argue with myself every day about whether I can justify taking my work breaks – even though my manager wants me to take them – but the course explained that these are ‘unhelpful thoughts’ and that really resonated with me.
"Now, when I have doubts, I can look back at my notes and remind myself fatigue management is there to help me stay in work, be productive and live well with my MS.”
I constantly felt torn between looking after myself and getting the work doneKatherine
Bringing offline learning online
Dr Sarah Thomas, from Bournemouth University, who led the development of the original face-to-face FACETS group programme, says: “We’re excited to have worked with the MS Society to create their new online course, which will give everyone with MS the chance to access tools to support them to manage their fatigue.
"People have described FACETS as life-changing, allowing them to get their lives back, and we hope to see the same positive results from the online course.”
Our hopes for the future
Our Chief Executive Nick Moberly says: “We get over 100,000 visits to the fatigue pages on our website each year, so were thrilled to work with researchers at Bournemouth University to create a new, much-needed tool that offers improved support.
"We’re confident it will go a long way to helping thousands of people living with the debilitating effects of daily MS fatigue. And we're incredibly grateful to those living with MS who helped shaped the user experience.”