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Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Examines Self-Management in MS

Posted Oct 26 2009 11:05pm
HACKENSACK, N.J., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis 
Centers (CMSC) released a white paper, written by a panel chaired by CMSC
member Robert T. Fraser, Ph.D., of the University of Washington Rehabilitation
Research and Training Center in Seattle, Washington, analyzing patient
self-management in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) to develop recommendations for best
practices aimed at improving patients' lives.

An initial literature review revealed that the basis for most self-management
intervention techniques is the work of Kate Lorig, RN, Dr.P.H., and her
colleagues at the Stanford Patient Education Research Center at Stanford
School of Medicine in Palo Alto, CA, who divided patient responsibilities for
their own care into three distinct areas: managing medical symptoms, role
management (including behavior and daily responsibilities), and managing
emotional aspects to their disease. The training involves development of key
skill sets such as problem-solving, decision-making, resource utilization,
forming patient-provider relationships, action planning, self-tailoring and

Studies in a similar self-management program in arthritis showed improvement
in outcomes measured by reduction in pain and visits to the doctor, and higher
self-efficacy, evident in as little as a month after implementation, and
sustained for up to 4 years.

The full impact of MS on a patient's life is highly variable and
unpredictable. Disease management requires a multidisciplinary approach from a
team of trusted healthcare professionals. Patients need to be prepared not
only for the changes brought on by the disease itself, but also for the
challenges presented by disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) and rehabilitation.
The CMSC white paper notes a limited base of study into self-management
outcomes in MS patients, despite a tremendous need for such interventions, and
reports that techniques are generally limited to patient education, without
including the comprehensive range of skill-building and resource acquisition

Based upon the review of self-management outcomes in other disease states, and
the understanding of the unique challenges presented by MS, the CMSC offered a
number of recommendations to the MS healthcare provider for promoting

1. Raising awareness within the MS professional community
2. Assessing unmet needs in MS
3. Promoting diverse aspects of MS self-management research
4. Eliminating practice barriers
5. Developing evidence-based practice to encourage financial support
6. Promoting self-management via the CMSC-NARCOMS global registry
7. Leveraging healthcare plans to promote financial support strategies

8. Encouraging CMSC members to promote self-management among the broader

Dr. Fraser has obtained a research and training grant to develop the
"Self-Management Consensus Conference," to be held in April of 2010 in
Seattle. The white paper is designed to stimulate interest in funding research
for educational programming for people with MS. "The work in MS has chiefly
been related to physical conditioning and we need a more holistic perspective
on a wellness intervention," Dr. Fraser suggested.

For more information, visit the CMSC website at To read
the full white paper or schedule an interview with Dr. Fraser, contact Linda
Peckel at

This release was issued through eReleases(TM). For more information, visit

SOURCE Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers

Linda Peckel for CMSC, +1-203-521-9677,
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