Kessler Foundation awarded federal grant to apply behavioral intervention to improve quality of life in multiple sclerosis

Dr. Lauren Strober of Kessler Foundation researches new behavioral treatments for individuals with MS.
Dr. Lauren Strober of Kessler Foundation will
apply an existing intervention for individuals with
spinal cord injury to improve self-efficacy,
coping, and psychological well-being for
individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Lauren Strober, PhD, leads study aimed at advancing self-efficacy, coping, and well-being via behavioral therapy and positive psychology techniques for individuals with MS

East Hanover, NJ – January 19, 2022 – Lauren Strober, PhD, senior research scientist in the Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, has been awarded a three-year grant for $599,831 from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) to expand her research aimed at assuring quality of life for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Through this grant, Dr. Strober will examine  the efficacy of a behavioral intervention, Reinventing Yourself after MS.

Dr. Strober, in partnership with Craig Hospital (Denver, CO) and key stakeholders, will adapt an existing intervention, Reinventing Yourself after Spinal Cord Injury, for use in MS. The Reinvention intervention was developed at Craig Hospital and proven effective among individuals with spinal cord injury.

In the first phase of the study, the research team will conduct focus groups with individuals with MS to identify their unique needs and integrate them into the Reinvention intervention, while maintaining the integrity of the existing spinal cord injury intervention. The second phase of the study will include a randomized controlled trial to determine the feasibility and efficacy of the adapted intervention.

“The Reinvention intervention is aimed at improving self-efficacy, psychological well-being, and quality of life via cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology principles and techniques,” explained Dr. Strober. “The end goal is to equip people who have MS with the skills they need to improve their self-efficacy and coping as they adjust to living with MS,” she added.

Self-efficacy is a person’s belief in his or her ability to succeed in particular situations. “It is a major determinant for how individuals decide what actions to take when faced with an obstacle or challenge. Thus, it is particularly important in managing the emotional and physical impact of MS and can help empower individuals to maintain their health and quality of life,” said Dr. Strober. The intervention also integrates components of positive psychology, such as the act of expressing gratitude or identifying the good in one’s daily life, which has been shown to be a significant predictor of well-being.
The culmination of the study will be an adapted, manualized intervention, Reinventing Yourself with MS, to be utilized in future research and in clinical care among individuals with MS. 
Funding: National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) under award #90IFRE0053. For more information, visit NIDILRR’s website.

About Kessler Foundation

Kessler Foundation, a major nonprofit organization in the field of disability, is a global leader in rehabilitation research that seeks to improve cognition, mobility, and long-term outcomes, including employment, for people with neurological disabilities caused by diseases and injuries of the brain and spinal cord. Kessler Foundation leads the nation in funding innovative programs that expand opportunities for employment for people with disabilities.

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Deb Hauss, senior staff writer, 973.324.8372, [email protected]

Carolann Murphy, senior medical writer,973.324.8382, [email protected]

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For more information, contact:
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Carolann Murphy, [email protected]

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