Thursday, 27 Feb 2020

New Belief-based Patient Support Programme (PSP) Launched for People With Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

AMSTERDAM: People living with relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can now access a new Patient Support Programme (PSP) that offers tailored help based on their individual beliefs and support needs.

Officially announced today, Teva's advanced MS Care programme is the first individually-based Programme developed for people with MS and delivers personalised, flexible digital support to complement the care they are already receiving from Healthcare Professionals. The Programme aims to support patients at each stage of their treatment journey.

According to the World Health Organization, around 50% of people with chronic illness do not take medications as prescribed[1]. Studies have shown that PSPs such as MS Care can have a positive impact on patients following medical advice correctly, along with an associated reduction in healthcare costs: one study[2] investigating the effectiveness of a PSP in people with MS found that it was able to improve patient persistence with MS treatment, compared to those receiving conventional support.

Based on a WHO framework that combines information, behavioural skills and motivation, MS Care was developed by a multidisciplinary team including health psychology specialists, chronic fatigue experts and neuro-psychologists and incorporates input from people living with MS.

As well as benefiting patients and their families, MS Care may offer advantages to the wider healthcare system. MS Care can provide cost savings to healthcare systems by relieving pressure on other MS services, reducing the workload of MS nurses, allowing them to focus on other critical issues, and help prevent MS complications that require unscheduled care.[3] In addition, a study looking at the effects of PSPs found that people with MS who took part experienced fewer MS-related hospital admissions[4]. The Programme works in tandem with health services, offering an additional level of service, including telephone support from nurses.

People with relapsing forms of MS are invited to complete a questionnaire which will provide a bespoke Programme created to meet their individual needs. The questionnaire was developed by psychologists to explore individual patients' beliefs and attitudes to their condition and treatment. For example, those who are categorised as having particularly high concerns around their illness will receive specific support focusing on these concerns. Those who are assessed as having fewer concerns will see their Programme centered around emotional and social care, while others will be given support aimed at improving their understanding of both their condition and their treatment.

"Effective strategies to promote self-management and better support patient needs are essential. Studies have shown the benefits of Patient Support Programmes to participants and their families. MS Care is unique in adapting its offering to meet the very specific individual needs of people with relapsing forms of MS, based on their individual beliefs and support needs," said Professor John Weinman, Professor of Psychology as Applied to Medicine, King's College London. "It's very important not to underestimate the value of psychological support. A diagnosis of MS can be difficult to absorb but giving people the right tools that are flexible to their needs will help them gain the most from their treatment, increase their confidence, and feel more equipped to manage their condition to live life to the full, despite the challenges of MS[5]."

Going beyond just information, the Programme offers both individualised digital tools and real life guidance, such as 1:1 nurse support and an advice line, to help people with MS better manage their disease and medication. The ultimate goal of MS Care is to improve patients' overall quality of life and build their confidence as they manage life with MS.

Core features of the advanced PSP that are available for all patients include:
•Fatigue fighter. With fatigue a common complaint of people living with MS, this six week programme covering a range of topics developed with input from patients and Healthcare Professionals includes guidance on managing stress and improving sleep.
•Motivational interviews including personal visits with MS nurses to develop customised support plans
•Support materials including an injection training and tracker, information booklets, magazines and videos

"Knowing that each reaction to a diagnosis of MS is unique, we took particular care to build a support Programme that meets the diverse needs of all patients," said Marc van Kempen, VP Global Development, Patient Solutions at Teva. "With input from both patients and experts in MS, we've developed MS Care to provide support and guidance that can make a difference to patients and their families, as they navigate the challenges associated with MS, particularly in the weeks and months following diagnosis. We are excited about the launch of our advanced MS Care Programme and look forward to making it available in individual markets in the coming months."

(PRN | 2 years ago)