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Listening to the neurological teams for multiple sclerosis: the SMART project

Abstract

Objective

Aim of the research was to define the quality of life of Italian neurologists and nurses’ professional caring for multiple sclerosis, to understand their living the clinical practice and identify possible signals of compassion fatigue.

Material and methods

One hundred five neurologists and nurses from 30 Italian multiple sclerosis centres were involved in an online quali-quantitative survey on the organization of care, combined with the Satisfaction and Compassion Fatigue Test and a collection of narratives. Descriptive statistics of the quantitative data were integrated with the results obtained by the narrative medicine methods of analysis.

Results

Most of the practitioners were neurologists, 46 average years old, 69% women, 43% part time dedicated to multiple sclerosis. An increased number of patients in the last 3 years were referred in 29 centres. Differences were found between neurologists and nurses. Physicians showed higher risks of burnout, reporting intensive working paces, lack of medical personnel, and anxiety caused by the precarious employment conditions. Nurses appeared more satisfied, although the reference to the lack of spaces, and the cross professional roles risk of compassion fatigue. Both positive and negative relationships of care were depicted as influencing the professional quality of life.

Conclusion

The interviewed neurological teams need to limit the risk of compassion fatigue, which appeared from the first years of the career. The prevalence of the risk among neurologists suggests more awareness among scientific societies and health care managers on the risk for this category, as first step to prevent it.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank the respondents to the survey, Biogen Italia SRL, Milan for the unconditional support, the Italian Society of Neurology for the patronage and Antonietta Cappuccio from Fondazione ISTUD.

The SMART group composition

- L Alivernini, MS Centre, San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, Roma

- A Bisecco, Neurological Clinic, Università della Campania Vanvitelli, Napoli

- G Borriello, MS Centre, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University, Neurological Center of Latium, Neuromed, Roma

- S Bucello, Neurology Department, Muscatello Hospital, Augusta (SR)

- F Caleri, Neurology Department, Franz Tappeiner Hospital, Merano (BZ)

- P Cavalla, City of Health and Science University Hospital of Turin, Turin

- E Cocco, Medical Science and Public Health Department, University of Cagliari

- C Cordioli, MS Centre, Spedali Civili Hospital, Brescia

- M Di Giuseppe, MS Centre, Giuseppe Mazzini Hospital, Teramo

- R Fantozzi, IRCCS Neuromed, Pozzilli (IS)

- M Gattuso, MS Centre, Vittorio Emanuele General Hospital, Catania

- F Granella, Neurology Unit, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma

- M Liguori, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Bari Unit

- L Locatelli, MS Centre, Santa Maria degli Angeli Hospital, Pordenone

- A Lugaresi, UOSI MS Rehabilitation—IRCCS “Institute of Neurological Science” of Bologna and Biological and Neuromotor Department, University of Bologna

- S Marangoni, Neurology Unit, Emergency Department, Santa Chiara Hospital, Trento

- L Moiola, MS Centre, San Raffaele Hospital, Milano

- E Mutta, MS Centre, S. Antonio Abate Hospital, Gallarate (VA)

- W Neri, Neurology Department, GB Morgagni Hospital, Forlì

- L Pastò, MS Centre, Careggi Hospital, Firenze

- P Perini, MS Centre, Padova General Hospital, Padova

- M Petruzzo, MS Centre, Federico II General Hospital, Napoli

- K Plewnia, MS Centre, Misericordia Hospital, Grosseto

- AM Repice, Neurology Department 2, Careggi General Hospital, Firenze

- M Rezzonico, MS Centre, Sant’Anna Hospital, Como

- S Romano, Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Faculty of Medicine and Psychology, Sapienza University, S.Andrea Hospital, Rome

- M Rovaris, MS Centre, Santa Maria Nascente Don Gnocchi Institute for Treatment and Research, Milano

- E Sessa, Neurology Department, Bonino Pulejo Institute for Treatment and Research, Messina

- C Tortorella, Department of Neurosciences, Ospedale San Camillo Forlanini, Roma

- R Totaro, Demyelinating Diseases Centre, San Salvatore Hospital, L’Aquila

- P Valentino, Neurology Department, Mater Domini General Hospital, Catanzaro

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Chesi, P., Marini, M.G., Mancardi, G.L. et al. Listening to the neurological teams for multiple sclerosis: the SMART project. Neurol Sci 41, 2231–2240 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-020-04301-z

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Keywords

  • Burnout
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Narrative medicine