Brand J, Köpke S, Kasper J, Rahn A, Backhus I, Poettgen J, Stellmann JP, Siemonsen S, Heesen C.

BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a key diagnostic and monitoring tool in multiple sclerosis (MS) management. However, many scientific uncertainties, especially concerning correlates to impairment and prognosis remain. Little is known about MS patients‘ experiences, knowledge, attitudes, and unmet information needs concerning MRI. METHODS: We performed qualitative interviews (n = 5) and a survey (n = 104) with MS patients regarding MRI patient information, and basic MRI knowledge. Based on these findings an interactive training program of 2 hours was developed and piloted in n = 26 patients. RESULTS: Interview analyses showed that patients often feel lost in the MRI scanner and left alone with MRI results and images while 90% of patients in the survey expressed a high interest in MRI education. Knowledge on MRI issues was fair with some important knowledge gaps. Major information interests were relevance of lesions as well as the prognostic and diagnostic value of MRI results. The education program was highly appreciated and resulted in a substantial knowledge increase. Patients reported that, based on the program, they felt more competent to engage in encounters with their physicians. CONCLUSION: This work strongly supports the further development of an evidence-based MRI education program for MS patients to enhance participation in health-care.

PLoS ONE 2014;9:e113252.

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