Sticking with treatment in multiple sclerosis has a significant effect on how the symptoms develop and the risk of relapse. Techniques to improve treatment adherence, such as a strong patient-prescriber relationship, treatment monitoring, and adequate training to learn injection methods, can all make a big difference in outcomes.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a challenging disease characterized by often debilitating symptoms, including pain, fatigue, cognitive impairment, sensorimotor deficits, bowel, and bladder problems, and mental health issues. Disease modifying therapies (DMTs), which reduce the rate of disease exacerbations and slow the progress of disease activity, are the cornerstone of MS treatment. Consistent use of DMTs has been associated with reduced risk of relapse, fewer inpatient hospitalizations, fewer abnormalities detected by MRI, and lower medical costs. But despite these improved outcomes, rates of medication adherence are inconsistent and often low.
Adherence consists of three distinct domains: acceptance of the illness and need for treatment; continued use of treatment over time (persistence); and compliance with taking the medication as prescribed (the right dose at the right time, and with the right frequency). Nonadherence in all three domains is a characteristic of many chronic diseases including MS, and is typically associated with social and economic factors, difficulties with the health care team or system, the characteristics of the disease, disease therapies, adverse events, regimen complexity, and patient-related factors.
Read Full Article: Interventions to Enhance Adherence to MS Therapies – MPR