Access and use of clinical services and disease modifying therapies by people with progressive Multiple Sclerosis in the United Kingdom
Coulter, Elaine H.
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Campbell, E., Coulter, E., Mattison, P., McFadyen, A., Miller, L. & Paul, L. (2017) Access and use of clinical services and disease modifying therapies by people with progressive Multiple Sclerosis in the United Kingdom. International Journal of MS Care, 19(6), pp. 275-282.
Background: According to current UK guidelines everyone with progressive MS should have access to an MS Specialist but levels of access and use of clinical services is unknown. Objective: To investigate access to MS Specialists, use of clinical services and Disease Modifying Therapies (DMT) by people with progressive MS in the United Kingdom. Methods: A UK wide, online survey was conducted via the UK MS Register. Inclusion criteria: age over 18 years, primary or secondary progressive MS and a member of the UK MS Register. Participants were asked about access to MS Specialists; recent clinical service use; receipt of regular review and current and previous DMT use. Participant demographics; quality of life and disease impact measures were supplied from the UK MS Register. Results: In total 1298 participants responded: 5% were currently taking DMT; 23% had previously taken DMT; and 95% reported access to an MS Specialist. Most utilised services were: MS Doctor/Nurse (50%), General Practitioner (45%), and Physiotherapist (40%). Seventy-four percent received a regular review although 37% received theirs less than annually. Current DMT use was associated with better quality of life but past DMT use was associated with poorer quality of life and higher impact of disease. Conclusion: Access to, and use of, MS Specialists was high. However a gap in service provision was highlighted in both receiving and frequency of regular reviews.