Multiple sclerosis relapses can be a challenge for some patients, and better engagement is needed between patients and care providers, a study has found.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses can be challenging for some patients, and better engagement is needed between patients and their healthcare providers, a study focused on patient experiences has found.
The study, titled “Relapse prevalence, symptoms, and health care engagement: patient insights from the Multiple Sclerosis in America 2017 survey,” offers insight into the relapse prevalence, symptoms, and engagement with healthcare professionals from patients with MS who responded to the Multiple Sclerosis in America (MSIA) 2017 survey. It was published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.
The perspectives of patients have become increasingly important in research because they help to identify important factors from their own personal health experiences, which are often missed in more restrictive clinical studies.
To gain further insight into MS patient perspectives, researchers assessed data from the MSIA 2017 survey, which gathered information about disease symptoms, relapse frequency, and patients’ healthcare-seeking behavior.
The survey involved 5,311 MS patients (mean age of 51.2 years; 84.3% female; 89.3% Caucasian) across the United States.
A total of 72.2% of the patients were diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), 12.1% with secondary progressive MS (SPMS), and 9.3% with primary progressive MS (PPMS), while 6.5% did not know or could not recall the type of MS diagnosed. Of the patients not reporting a diagnosis of PPMS ( 4,819 patients), 74.8% were being treated with disease-modifying therapies.
Results showed that in the two years preceding the survey, 73.1% of the patients experienced at least one relapse. Overall, the relapse frequency per year was: 44.1% patients had less than one relapse, 35.5% had one to two relapses, and 20.2% had more than two relapses.
In patients reporting relapses, 62.5% cited an average relapse duration of less than one month, 10.9% cited one to two months, and 13.6% cited more than two months. And 12.9% were unsure or didn’t recall.
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