, Volume 259, Issue 11, pp 2347-2353
Date: 18 Apr 2012

Background information on multiple sclerosis patients stopping ongoing immunomodulatory therapy: a multicenter study in a community-based environment

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Adherence to an immunomodulatory therapy still needs to be improved in MS patients. We analyzed the data of 396 MS patients of 40 German MS outpatient centers who had stopped an ongoing immunomodulatory treatment. Items analyzed were among others adherence data, reasons for the interruption and willingness to start a new therapy. It became obvious that 74.6 % of the patients made the decision to withdraw from therapy on their own. The most commonly mentioned reasons for the withdrawal were proven or putative lack of efficacy (51.4 %), side effects (58.1 %), and complaints of fatigue and depression. There was no difference concerning sex, duration of the treatment and medication taken. The expectations correlated with the empathy of the treating physician and the setting with MS nurses taking care of the patient. A total of 199 patients (51.8 % of the females, 48.9 % of the males) wanted to restart another IMT. Reasons for not wanting to restart were lack of conviction that a therapy may influence the disease (29.4 %), fear of injection (18.7 %), fear of bringing the disease to mind regularly (17.9 %) and doubt about the diagnosis (11.2 %). The results suggest that adherence is most effectively promoted by cultivating an appropriate and individual therapeutic setting for each MS patient on a medical, organizational and last but not least psychological level.

On behalf of the N.T.C. study group.