Multiple Sclerosis management during the COVID-19 pandemic


By Dr Ricardo Reis, Neurologist Resident, Centro Hospitalar de São João

Aim

To assess the impact of COVID-associated changes in healthcare provision on people with MS, with a focus on psychological well-being, physical disability, healthcare access, and healthcare satisfaction.

Headlines

During the first months of the pandemic, stay-at-home orders resulted in a shift from face-to-face to remote appointments for people with MS.

This adaptation may have impacted on their perceived health status and psychological well-being.

Key findings

A total of 195 people with MS responded to a survey sent out between April and June 2020. It found:

  • 62% had sought access to MS care; of these 56% said a telephone appointment had been adequate and 60% were satisfied with the information and recommendations that were provided
  • 70% said their disease had remained stable during the first few months of the pandemic
  • People who said they had felt worse during the pandemic had worse fatigue and sleep quality scores than those recorded during their last face-to-face consultation

Recommendations

Given the reported levels of patient satisfaction, the COVID-19 experience may change the way MS clinics evaluate and follow their patients as telemedicine emerges as a valuable tool.

More MS Academy COVID-19 Projects

Remote monitoring in people with Multiple Sclerosis during the COVID-19 pandemic
By Dr Andrea Stennett, Barts Health NHS Trust and Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine
24 hours that changed our future way of working
By Sarah Dronfield & Caroline Holbrook, MS Nurse Specialists, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Multiple Sclerosis management during the COVID-19 pandemic
By Dr Ricardo Reis, Neurologist Resident, Centro Hospitalar de São João
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