A Multidisciplinary Approach to Enhance Patient Education in a Tertiary MS Center

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A Multidisciplinary Approach to Enhance Patient Education in a Tertiary MS Center
Woods, Michael (Author)
Stone, Joshua; (Author)
Cahill, Jonathan (Author)
Rizvi, Syed (Author)
Brown University. Alpert Medical School. Scholarly Concentration Program. Non-Scholarly Concentrator (research program)
Date Created
Patients newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis are given a large volume of information regarding not only the disease itself, but also how they will go about managing it for the rest of their lives. Given the complexity of MS and the requirement for patients to remain involved in their long-term management of it, The Brown Physicians Group at Rhode Island Hospital is investigating different methods to enhance patient education for those newly diagnosed with MS. One potential educational tool is the Internet. 53% of respondents in a U.S. study of MS patients indicated that using the Internet helped them feel like they were becoming their own MS advocates (Kantor, 2017). Meanwhile, another study demonstrated that the most trusted source of medical information for patients is still the doctor, despite evidence of the broad use of the Internet to search for medical information (Marrie, 2013). This widespread use of the Internet by patients with respect to their own disease does not appear to be addressed by physicians currently. Further, it is unclear whether physicians should have a more active role in patients’ Internet usage and whether doing so may be beneficial. This study aimed to investigate the current state of Internet usage among patients at Brown Neurology’s Multiple Sclerosis Center. MS patients at Brown Neurology’s Multiple Sclerosis Center answered questions from a questionnaire and from a focus group regarding their Internet usage and desire for physicians educating patients on that Internet usage. 21 patients participated. The results demonstrated that patients utilize the Internet to help manage their MS, but are not satisfied with that usage. Patients want to be guided toward more accurate, reliable information on the Internet, and want to receive that guidance from their neurologists. They also want the ability to interact with other MS patients online to increase their support systems. Some patients did not advocate the need for help navigating the Internet, and prefer receiving their medical information in person with their neurologist. These results support providing a road map, such as a website with relevant information and resources, for patients at Brown Neurology to better navigate the Internet in the context of managing their MS. Additionally, Brown Neurology also has developed a clinic for newly diagnosed MS patients to learn more about the long-term management and the diverse team of specialists that are there to help them. This study looks at the efficacy of this clinic in how it takes an active and individual role in educating patients in the management of their MS. This study is still under review by the IRB and thus has not yet yielded results. Both studies underscore the need to improve patient education regarding MS.
Multiple sclerosis--Patients
Scholarly concentration: Non-Scholarly Concentrator
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Woods, Michael, Stone, Joshua;, Cahill, Jonathan, et al., "A Multidisciplinary Approach to Enhance Patient Education in a Tertiary MS Center" (2018). Summer Research Showcase. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://repository.library.brown.edu/studio/item/bdr:833868/



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    The Summer Research Showcase is an annual event at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University that provides Year II medical students a venue to present their summer research in a poster format. Participation in the Showcase is required for ...