Effective Multiple Sclerosis Management Through Improved Patient Assessment

Amy Perrin Ross, MSN, MSCN, APRN, CNRN, Natalie Hackbarth MSCN, RN, Christine Rohl, MSN, CNS, CNRN, FNP, Kristi Whitmyre, BA

Disclosures

J Neurosci Nurs. 2008;40(3):150-157. 

In This Article

Summary

MS is a disease with a wide range of adverse clinical manifestations. Current DMDs, although not curative, slow disease progression. MS patients with significant disease can improve their outlook and quality of life with proper symptom and adverse-effect management. Both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic strategies have been used to successfully reduce symptoms and adverse effects, leading to increased therapy compliance.

Good communication between patients and healthcare providers is essential if treatment is to succeed. Using detailed patient questionnaires that are administered at physicians' offices or clinics can improve communication. In our experience, these questionnaires have been useful in treating the "whole patient". Healthcare providers use the office visit to address medical issues with the knowledge that patients have the opportunity to discuss other issues in more detail in a separate forum. This format may lead to improved patient-caregiver interaction and an overall better quality of care, resulting in better therapeutic outcomes and improved quality of life for MS patients.

The intake and follow-up questionnaires for MS disease assessment can help to monitor disease progression and determine treatment compliance, efficacy, and adverse effects. This information can be used by both physicians and MS nurses to effectively manage symptoms and adverse effects and to monitor the efficacy of DMDs in MS.

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