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J Neurosci Nurs. 2003 Apr;35(2):94-9, 106.

The use of individualized goal setting to facilitate behavior change in women with multiple sclerosis.

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University of Texas, Austin School of Nursing, USA.


Setting goals is a useful strategy for changing behavior. The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a wellness intervention for women with multiple sclerosis (MS) on achieving health-related goals set individually by each participant in the experimental group (N = 57) using goal attainment scaling. The two-phase intervention included lifestyle-change classes over 8 weeks, then telephone follow-up over 3 months. Participants were followed over an 8-month period. Goal achievement was assessed at baseline, 2 months (following class), 3 1/2 months (6 weeks after class), 5 months (following 3 months of telephone follow-up), and at 8 months. The majority of the women met or exceeded all their individualized goals for changing behavior at the 6-week postclass assessment. Achievement and maintenance of individual goals remained high (59%-84%) over the 5 months after class follow-ups. These data support the positive effects of wellness interventions for helping women with MS to meet their own individualized health goals. Setting goals with incremental steps helped participants to articulate their individual goals and monitor achievement over time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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