Heesen C, Köpke S, Richter T, Kasper J.

Shared decision making is increasingly recognised as the ideal model of patient-physician communication especially in chronic diseases with partially effective treatments such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Since 2001, we studied prerequisites for patient participation in decision making as well as the effects of evidence-based patient information on decision making processes in MS. In pre-studies we found that 80% of MS patients demand autonomous roles in treatment decisions which contrasts to a poor knowledge of risks. On the other hand MS patients are not disturbed by evidence-based, balanced complex information. MS patients can understand this kind of information and are able to transfer new abilities to other situations. Major information interests were related to symptom alleviation, diagnostic procedures and prognosis. Currently, we study the effects of a 4 hour education programme on relapse management versus an information leaflet as controls in 150 RR MS patients in a randomised-controlled trial. In a second trial including 280 MS patients we study the effects of an evidence-based decision aid on immunotherapy on decisional role preference and performance in the patient physician encounter. Results at the end of 2006 will show to which extent patient education with a focus on evidence-based patient information influences participation in the decision making process. Assuming that patient education programmes will enhance self-management abilities and the sense of control over the disease with enhanced quality of life and well-being, further modules covering all aspects of MS are to be developed.

J. Neurol. 2007;254 Suppl 2:II116-21.

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