Developing a patient care pathway for emotional support around the point of multiple sclerosis diagnosis: A stakeholder engagement study
Authordas Nair, Roshan
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AbstractBACKGROUND: Diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS) can be a lengthy process, which can negatively affect psychological well-being, condition management, and future engagement with health services. Therefore, providing timely and appropriate emotional support may improve adjustment and health outcomes. PURPOSE: To develop a patient care pathway for providing emotional support around the point of diagnosing MS, and to explore potential barriers and facilitators to delivery and implementation.
METHOD(S): Focus groups were conducted with 26 stakeholders, including 16 people living with MS, 5 carers/family members and 5 professionals working with people living with MS (3 MS nurses, 1 psychiatrist, and 1 charity staff member). Discussions were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analyzed using framework analysis.
RESULT(S): Participants suggested that a patient care pathway should include comprehensive information provision as a part of emotional support at diagnosis, and follow-up sessions with a healthcare professional. Barriers including increasing staff workloads and financial costs to health services were acknowledged, thus participants suggested including peer support workers to deliver additional emotional support. All participants agreed that elements of a care pathway and embedded interventions should be individually tailored, yet provided within a standardized system to ensure accessibility.
CONCLUSION(S): A patient care pathway was developed with stakeholders, which included an embedded MS Nurse support intervention supplemented with peer support sessions. Participants suggested that the pathway should be delivered within a standardized system to ensure equity of service provision across the country. PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: This research was conceptualized and designed collaboratively with Nottingham Multiple Sclerosis Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement (PPIE) group members. One member is a co-author and was actively involved in every key stage of the research process, including co-design of the pathway and research protocol, data collection (including presenting to participants and moderating group discussions), analysis and write-up. Authors consulted with PPIE members at two meetings (9 and 11 PPIE attendees per meeting) where they gave feedback on the research design, findings and the resulting pathway. People living with MS and carers of people with MS were included in the focus groups as participants.
CitationTindall, T., Topcu, G., Thomas, S., Bale, C., Evangelou, N., Drummond, A. & das Nair, R. (2023). Developing a patient care pathway for emotional support around the point of multiple sclerosis diagnosis: A stakeholder engagement study. Health expectations, DOI: 10.1111/hex.13711.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2023 The Authors. Health Expectations published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd