Clinical Trials

COMBAT-MS (Cognitive reMediation and Behavioural Approaches to Treatment in MS)

Type of Study/Intervention

Psychological /Cognitive

Recruitment Status


Form of MS

Relapsing remitting MS, Secondary progressive MS, Primary progressive MS

Brief Summary

MS is associated with a high burden of physical impairment, like changes to balance, coordination, and vision. Psychosocial factors such as depression and anxiety are also common, as well as changes in thinking skills, including memory and concentration. These are important factors to manage because they have implications for activities of daily living, such as work and study, as well as interpersonal relationships. Together, the physical, psychological, cognitive, and social consequences can interact. This creates risk for problems adjusting to changes in MS and affects quality of life.

Traditionally, psychological therapies for people with MS have targeted individual problem areas like depression, or anxiety, or cognitive impairment.  To our knowledge, an intervention has not been designed to target these factors together to address adjustment more broadly.

This study involves a skills-based intervention designed to target holistic adjustment. Participants learn strategies to restructure unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviour, and strategies for strengthening and compensating for weaknesses in cognitive abilities.  All participants undergo psychological, neuropsychological, and neurological assessments at baseline, three-month, and 12-month visits. The study is a randomised controlled trial, meaning that half of the participants receive the study intervention and half do not.

Inclusion criteria

  • Diagnosed multiple sclerosis
  • 18 years and over
  • EDSS score between 0 – 8

Exclusion criteria

  • Have a diagnosis of another neurodegenerative disease
  • Currently receiving other research-based study treatments in any form (e.g. receiving group or individual CBT, ACT, cognitive remediation or cognitive training)

Recruitment contacts

Ms Caitlin Dawes
MS Clinical Trials, Brain & Mind Centre, Level 5, 94 Mallett Street, Camperdown NSW 2050
02 9351 0750
Study email:

Ethics Approval


Last updated

19 Nov 2020

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