Heesen C, Kasper J, Köpke S, Richter T, Segal J, Mühlhauser I.

Patients and health authorities increasingly claim active roles in health care decision making processes. As immune therapies in MS are partially effective MS is a prototypic condition for a shared decision making process. The treatment of acute relapses and the initiation, change or withdrawal of so called disease-modifying treatments are key decisions in MS management. We developed two decision aids following the phased approach of the framework of increasing evidence for complex interventions for these key decisions. In prestudies we found that 80% of MS patients demand autonomous roles in treatment decisions which contrasts with a poor knowledge of risks. On the other hand MS patients are not disturbed by evidence-based, balanced complex information. MS patients do understand this kind of information and are able to transfer new abilities to other situations. Currently we study the effects of a 4-hour education programme on relapse management versus an information leaflet in controls in 150 MS patients. In a second trial with n=298 MS patients we study the effects of an evidence-based patient information on immunotherapy on decisional role preference and performance in the patient physician encounter. Results in early 2007 will show to which extent patient education with a focus on evidence-based patient information influences participation in the decision making process.

J. Neurol. Sci. 2007;259:109-17.

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