Engels K, Schiffmann I, Weierstall R, Rahn AC, Daubmann A, Pust G, Chard D, Lukas C, Scheiderbauer J, Stellmann JP, Heesen C

OBJECTIVES: People with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) often have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations. While MRI can help guide MS management, it may be a source of anxiety for pwMS. We aimed to develop and validate a questionnaire on the „EMotions and Attitudes towards MRI“ (MRI-EMA). MATERIAL & METHODS: The questionnaire was developed, tested in 2 samples of pwMS and validated in a sample of n=457 pwMS using exploratory (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). RESULTS: EFA revealed 4 factors underlying the questionnaire: fear of MRI scan, fear of MRI results, feeling of control over the disease and feeling of competence in the patient-physician encounter. CFA confirmed the model fit. Receiving the MRI results, but not undergoing the procedure was associated with anxiety. Seeing MRI results gave participants a feeling of control over the disease. Only 50% felt competent to discuss MRI findings with their physician. Fear of MRI results was especially high and feeling of competence low in participants with a short disease duration and little MRI experience. CONCLUSION: PwMS don’t feel competent when discussing the role, MRI plays in their care. Receiving MRI results caused anxiety and provides some pwMS with a – perhaps false – feeling of control over the disease. The MRI-EMA constitutes a new tool for the assessments of pwMS‘ feelings towards MRI, that can be applied in future research and clinical settings.

Acta Neurol Scand. 2019 Jun;139(6):497-504.

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