Evidence-Based Education Favorable to Stress Management for Multiple Sclerosis Patients

For multiple sclerosis patients, enrollment in an evidence-based education program resulted in more informed choices involving their condition, according to research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

For multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, enrollment in an evidence-based education program resulted in more informed choices involving their condition, according to research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

In a 12-month double-blind study, researchers at the University of Lübeck in Germany compared the decision making abilities in 192 patients undergoing either 4-h evidence-based educational program or a 4-h MS-specific stress management program. Patients registered in the evidence-based program were educated on MS diagnostic testing, prognosis, and therapy. Participants in the stress management program focused on stress management and coping mechanisms.

Researchers found that patients in the evidence-based program were more likely (58.8%) to make informed choices involving their health in a 6-month period versus the patients in stress management program (20.2%). Additionally, investigators observed an increase in independence and abidance to immunotherapy for MS patients in the evidence-based program. However, they discovered no significant difference in patients’ attitudes surrounding immunotherapy based on what program patients enrolled in.

Investigators said that the increased risk knowledge for evidence-based education enrolled patients (39%) caused more informed choices in MS patients.

Despite cognitive deficiencies that affects decision-making abilities in MS patients, evidence-based educational programs “resulted in a substantial knowledge increase, indicating participants’ sufficient cognitive capacity in general,” the authors wrote.

Based on their findings, researchers claimed evidence-based programs effectively provide pertinent information to patients.

“Informed choice is an ethical prerequisite for healthcare decision making,” they said. “This study shows that evidence-based patient information can result in high rates of patients performing informed choice without negative side-effects.”