Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most prevalent progressive sensory/neurological disability in young adults, with important psychological consequences. The present study was designed to assess the effectiveness of group counseling with a client-centered approach based on the GATHER principles on sexual satisfaction in women with MS.
Methods: In this clinical trial, conducted from January 2018 to May 2019, in the MS Referral Center of Tehran (Iran), 72 eligible participants were assigned to intervention and control groups (36 in each group) via simple randomization. The intervention group received group counseling based on the client-centered approach, while the control group received routine counseling. Data were collected using the Larson Sexual Satisfaction Questionnaire (LSSQ) at three different time points: before the intervention, after the final session, and one month after the intervention. The collected data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 19). In order to analyze the obtained data, independent t test, Mann–Whitney U test, paired t test, Wilcoxon test, Chi-square test, Fisher exact test, and Friedman test were used.
Results: The mean score of sexual satisfaction before the intervention showed no statistically significant difference between the two groups. Based on the Friedman test in the intervention group, the trend of changes in the mean score of sexual satisfaction had a significant difference before the intervention, after the final session, and one month after the intervention (P=0.001); however, no significant difference was observed in the control group.
Conclusion: Our results showed the effectiveness of group counseling with a client-centered approach based on the GATHER principles on sexual satisfaction and intimacy among women with MS.
Trial Registration Number: IRCT20180110038302N3.