Patient education programme on immunotherapy in multiple sclerosis (PEPIMS): a controlled rater-blinded study

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the effectiveness of a multi-component evidence-based education programme on disease modifying therapies in multiple sclerosis.

Design:

Controlled trial with two consecutive patient cohorts and a gap of two months between cohorts.

Setting:

Three neurological rehabilitation centres.

Subjects:

Patients with multiple sclerosis within rehabilitation.

Interventions:

Control group (CG) participants were recruited and received standard information. Two months later, intervention group (IG) participants were recruited and received a six-hour nurse-led interactive group education programme consisting of two parts and a comprehensive information brochure.

Main measures:

Primary endpoint was “informed choice”, comprising of adequate risk knowledge in combination with congruency between attitude towards immunotherapy and actual immunotherapy uptake. Further outcomes comprised risk knowledge, decision autonomy, anxiety and depression, self-efficacy, and fatigue.

Results:

A total of 156 patients were included (IG=75, CG=81). The intervention led to significantly more participants with informed choice (IG: 47% vs. CG: 23%, P=0.004). The rate of persons with adequate risk knowledge was significantly higher in the IG two weeks after the intervention (IG: 54% vs. CG: 31%, P=0.007), but not after six months (IG: 48% vs. CG: 31%, P=0.058). No significant differences were shown for positive attitude towards disease modifying therapy (IG: 62% vs. CG: 71%,P=0.29) and for disease modifying therapy status after six months (IG: 61.5% vs CG: 68.6%, P=0.39). Also no differences were found for autonomy preferences and decisional conflict after six months.

Conclusion:

Delivering evidence-based information on multiple sclerosis disease modifying therapies within a rehabilitation setting led to a marked increase of informed choices.

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