Health promotion in people with multiple sclerosis.

Chronic diseases like MS present unique challenges and opportunities for patients and the medical care system. Patients are challenged because they are under tremendous pressure to actively engage themselves in multiple prevention, treatment, and health maintenance behaviors, often before they feel ready. Health care providers are challenged because health-promotion activities require more time, counseling skills, and organizational resources than traditional, acute medical care. Patients, clinicians, and researchers face the challenge of determining which health-promotion activities are not only supported by the evidence but also appropriate for a given patient.New models of health promotion are being developed that integrate self-help and professional help. These approaches have been applied in other chronic diseases and should be adapted and studied among people with MS.