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Adherence to disease-modifying therapies in patients with multiple sclerosis

Authors Kołtuniuk A, Rosińczuk J

Received 23 May 2018

Accepted for publication 26 June 2018

Published 23 August 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 1557—1566


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Aleksandra Kołtuniuk, Joanna Rosińczuk

Department of Nervous System Diseases, Faculty of Health Sciences, Wroclaw Medical University, Wroclaw, Poland

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory progressive demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. MS is one of the main causes of disability among young adults, and its management is a serious challenge for the healthcare system.
Purpose: The main purpose of this study was to examine adherence to first-line disease-modifying therapy (DMT) in MS patients using the self-report Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Adherence Questionnaire (MS-TAQ).
Materials and methods: The participants consisted of 226 MS patients (166 women and 60 men) who were treated with first-line immunomodulatory DMT. This study used a questionnaire designed by the authors, which contained questions about sociodemographic data, and the Polish version of the MS-TAQ.
Results: The overall adherence was 76.5% according to the first criterion (missed ≥1 injection or tablet). There were no statistically significant differences due to sociodemographic variables between adherent and nonadherent patients. However, patients taking Avonex® significantly more often belonged to the adherent group (P=0.042). The most frequently mentioned reasons why nonadherent patients forget to take the drug included the following: too busy in their daily activities, indisposition to take the drug, unwillingness to take the drug, interference with daily activities, and dissatisfaction with the drug. The degree of adherence among MS patients treated with immunomodulatory drugs is high; however, some patients do not take medications regularly.
Conclusion: Due to the utility of the MS-TAQ, the caregivers of MS patients are able to quickly and easily assess the occurrence of side effects, ways to cope with them, and the occurrence of barriers to taking medication.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis, treatment adherence, disease-modifying therapy, side effects, Multiple Sclerosis Treatment Adherence Questionnaire

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