The importance of a multi-disciplinary perspective and patient activation programmes in MS management

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease associated with a large variety of symp- toms and changing patients’ needs during the disease course. In order to provide appropriate care in every disease stage and let patients live their lives to the full, a multi-disciplinary approach and patient activa- tion is needed.

Objective: To summarise the multi-disciplinary perspective of MS, with focus on the organisation of a multi-disciplinary care team and possibilities to support patient activation.

Methods: This review reflects the content of the presentations, audience polling results and discussions on the multi-disciplinary perspective of MS during the second Pan-European MS Multi-stakeholder Colloquium.

Results: In many countries, the neurologist with or without the support of an MS nurse is responsible for the long-term care of MS patients. When needed, they should refer to other (non-)medical specialists. However, the patient should be empowered as well to manage his/her disease and to implement a physi- cally active lifestyle in order to improve treatment outcomes and quality of life.

Conclusion: To create equal access to care for MS patients across Europe, evidence-based standards of care, symptom self-monitoring tools and educational programmes for patients and healthcare profession- als including non-medical treatment strategies should be developed at the European level.

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