More MS news articles for Feb 2002

The interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients in Italy: an aspiration or a reality?

Multiple Sclerosis,
1 February 2002, vol. 8, no. 1,   pp. 36-39(4)
Messmer Uccelli M[1]; Battaglia M A[2]; Zagami P[1]; Solaro C[3]
[1] Department of Social and Health Services and Research, Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society, Genoa 16128, Italy
[2] Institute of Hygiene, University of Siena, Siena 53100, Italy
[3] Department of Neurological Science and Vision, University of Genoa, Genoa 16132, Italy

The aim of the study was to assess whether the components necessary for an interdisciplinary approach to the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients exist in Italian MS clinics and to identify factors that make the difference between reality and aspiration for this type of approach.

One hundred two out of 147 neurology departments with MS clinics throughout Italy compiled a questionnaire about characteristics and organizational structure of the clinic, type and number of professionals and resource needs.

Eight hundred twenty-three healthcare professionals are currently working in MS clinics:

50% (412) neurologists,
28.7% (236) nurses,
15.1% (124) physical therapists,
3.4% (28) psychologists and
2.8% (23) social workers.

Neurologists are evenly distributed between northern and southern parts of the country even though there are nearly double the number of patients followed in northern clinics compared to those in the south.

Physicians reported themselves as most in need of continuing education, twice that which the same physicians reported for any other professional.

The study has identified issues that contribute to the difficulty in developing and applying an interdisciplinary approach to providing care and services to Italian MS patients.

Several factors have been delineated that require significant reshaping in order for this approach to begin to develop.

© 2002 ingenta