We are conducting a study to evaluate whether an online resource called ‘Valuing Goals’, which offers skills training in goal setting and action planning, can improve well-being for people with MS. I am contacting MSTCs to see if they would be willing to circulate an advert for the study to their membership for the opportunity to take part. Below are the main details of the study which I am completing as part of my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. The study has been granted ethical approval by Royal Holloway Research Ethics Committee (REC Project ID: 717).
We have two versions of the Study Advert, one online and one paper, which I have attached. The online version can be circulated via a newsletter or email bulletin, and some centres have also put it on their Facebook group or website. It has a weblink for people to click to take them to the online Participant Information Sheet where they can get some further information.
Details of the Valuing Goals study:
To evaluate the effectiveness of a self-help well-being intervention (Valuing Goals programme) in increasing well-being within a sample of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
The Intervention – Valuing Goals
Valuing Goals is a 5-week online self-help programme designed by clinical psychologists to increase well-being by helping individuals identify and work towards positive life goals, that are in line with their personal values. The focus of Valuing Goals is on developing positive goals to improve well-being, rather than on reducing symptoms or distress through solving problems. It is based on knowledge from the psychological literature about the positive relationship between well-being and different aspects of values, goals and planning. It has been shown to increase well-being and quality of life in samples of people from the general population, people with depression, and people with long term mental health problems.
What would it involve for the Centre?
We will provide a poster or article to advertise the study and ask the centre to make it available to their members. The poster or article will include all the details of the study and my contact details so that anyone who might like the opportunity to take part can contact me directly.
What will it involve for the participants?
For those who would like the opportunity to take part, we will send them access to the Valuing Goals programme which they can work through online at home, which takes roughly one hour per week for five weeks. We can send a paper copy of the manual for those who would prefer it. Half the participants would be given access in July, and the second half would be given access in October (so that they can act as a ‘control group’). We will ask all the participants to complete some questionnaires that measure well-being and quality of life at three time points between July and October so that we can see if there have been any changes, and if the changes have lasted. These would take around 25 minutes and can also be done online at home, or we can send paper copies.
We received ethical approval in March 2018. We will be recruiting participants for the study throughout June 2018 by sending out invitations and advertising via MS therapy Centres. We aim for participants to start the study in July 2018 and finish by November 2018. The data will then be analysed and written up as part of my Doctoral thesis by June 2019, and I will share a summary of the results to all supporting MS therapy centres shortly after.
If you would like any further information, or would like to discuss any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact me on the details below. Thank you again for your support.
Trainee Clinical Psychologist
Royal Holloway, University of London