Improving patient–physician dialog: commentary on the results of the MS Choices survey
Alessandra Lugaresi1, Tjalf Ziemssen2, Celia Oreja-Guevara3, Delyth Thomas4, Elisabetta Verdun5
1Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, University "G d'Annunzio", Chieti, Italy; 2Center of Clinical Neuroscience, Neurological University Clinic, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany; 3Multiple Sclerosis Unit, Department of Neurology, Health Research Institute (IdiPAZ), University Hospital La Paz, Madrid, Spain; 4Wye Valley NHS Trust, Hereford, United Kingdom; 5Global Medical Affairs Neurology, Merck Serono S.A. – Geneva, Switzerland
Abstract: Achieving good long- and short-term adherence to treatment for chronic diseases is important if patients are to gain the full benefits of treatment. Several barriers to adherence in multiple sclerosis (MS) have been identified and the healthcare team should work with patients to help them to overcome these obstacles. The MS Choices survey explored patient and physician perspectives on key aspects of MS diagnosis, treatment adherence, and disease management with the aim of improving understanding of the factors that influence patient behavior regarding treatment adherence. The survey found some important differences between patient and physician responses and here these findings are discussed in the context of personal clinical experience. Further, the possible implications of these findings for routine practice have been considered, and strategies that should be employed by MS physicians and nurses to help patients to adhere to their prescribed treatment are suggested.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, treatment adherence, treatment initiation, patient–physician dialog, psychological profiling
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