Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system which leads to demyelination and neurodegeneration. The T and B cells, the body’s immune cells, start attacking the brain and spinal cord, leading to a variety of symptoms. Alemtuzumab is a recently approved disease-modifying therapy that has been shown to have a very high impact on MS. However, it has many potentially life-threatening side effects which patients are often not aware of. For treatments as effective and risky as Alemtuzumab, patients who are considering it must be well-informed on the process and the potential side effects. Patient education is vital to equip patients with knowledge on their disease and treatment, and has shown to be successful in improving the management of chronic diseases and increasing medication adherence. Unfortunately, the language used is often too complex and at a higher reading level than average patients can comprehend, and available resources such as pamphlets and websites are often disorganized. This research proposes a radically different approach to patient education, using less formal channels such as a mobile application to improve health literacy, using LEMTRADA® (Alemtuzumab) as an example. MS patients were involved in a co-design process to produce a series of user-friendly, intuitive and interactive graphical interfaces which propose plain language, illustrations, animations, audio and Augmented Reality components that aim to enhance patients’ knowledge retention and recall. Finally, nine MS patients along with a senior MS nurse tested the mobile application and answered a usability questionnaire that aimed to compare the delivery of information with typical websites and pamphlets. Results suggested this approach to be highly user-friendly and engaging, improving patients’ understanding of medical information considerably. This research illustrates more engaging channels to communicate with MS patients in order to enhance health literacy.
Multiple sclerosis Alemtuzumab Patient education Mobile application Health literacy Co-design Communication illustration
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