Barabasch A, Riemann-Lorenz K, Kofahl C, Scheiderbauer J, Eklund D, Kleiter I, Kasper J, Köpke S, Lezius S, Zapf A, Rahn AC, Heesen C.

Background: A variety of management options (e.g. immunotherapies, lifestyle interventions, and rehabilitation) are available for people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Besides coping with the diagnosis, people with MS (pwMS) have to make complex decisions such as deciding about immunotherapies. In addition to factual information, reports of patient experiences (PEx) may support patients in decision-making. The added value of PEx in decision-making is not clear, and controlled studies are rare. Therefore, systematic methods are necessary to develop and analyse PEx. As there are no evaluated PEx for MS in Germany, we are currently creating a website presenting PEx structured according to topics and illustrated by video, audio, and text files. We aim to determine the feasibility of an intervention using PEx and evaluate whether PEx may help pwMS in their immunotherapy decision-making processes as a supplement to evidence-based information. Methods: This project will follow the Medical Research Council framework for development and evaluation of complex interventions. After the development of a website with PEx, a randomised controlled pilot trial (pilot RCT) will be conducted in 2-3 MS centres, clinics, or rehabilitation centres including 55 pwMS and accompanied by a process evaluation. Patients with a RRMS diagnosis considering immunotherapy are eligible. The primary outcome is decision self-efficacy. Secondary outcomes include preparation for decision-making, decisional conflict, risk knowledge, confidence in active participation, affective forecasting, social support, and self-reported impact of eHealth on its users. Participants will be randomly assigned either to (i) an intervention group with 4 weeks access to an evidence-based patient information resource and the PExMS-website as an adjunct or to (ii) the control group with access to evidence-based information alone. A 6-member advisory panel involving representatives of pwMS, researchers, and neurologists, who accompany the whole project, will mentor this pilot RCT. The intervention was developed with systematic methods, created with active patient involvement and in critical appraisal by an expert advisory panel. The study is innovative as it contributes to the controversial evidence on the use of PEx in the context of evidence-based patient information

Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2021 Jan 7;7(1):16.

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