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Patient information on cognitive symptoms in multiple sclerosis – acceptability in relation to disease duration

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Heesen C, Segal J, Reich C, Hämäläinen P, Broemel F, Niemann S, Simon U, Gross R, Kasper J. Patient information on cognitive symptoms in multiple sclerosis – acceptability in relation to disease duration.

Acta Neurol Scand 2006: 114: 268–272.

© Blackwell Munksgaard 2006. Objective – 

Recently, regular cognitive screening assessments have been advised in multiple sclerosis (MS). No studies have been carried out yet on the acceptability of information on cognitive deficits among MS patients. Materials and methods – 

Translation of an information booklet developed by a working group of European MS Rehabilitation Centers. Distribution of the booklet among 133 MS patients of two rehabilitation units and one outpatient clinic together with a one-page questionnaire. Results – 

The booklet was highly understandable and rated to give moderate new information. Overall, the brochure was perceived as encouraging but significantly less so (P = 0.014) in recently diagnosed patients. Patients with subjectively perceived deficits considered the brochure to be significantly more relevant (P = 0.002). Conclusion – 

Information on cognitive deficits does not increase fears even in recently diagnosed MS patients. Patients with perceived deficits found the information more relevant than others and also less familiar. Thus, it seems appropriate to offer information about cognitive impairments to MS patients.

Keywords: cognitive dysfunction; multiple sclerosis; patient information

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Neurology, University Medical Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany 2: Brent Rehabilitation Services, Brent PCT, London, UK 3: Masku Neurological Rehabilitation Center, Masku, Finland 4: Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, Hamburg, Germany 5: Inpatient Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, Bad Segeberg, Germany 6: Department of Health Sciences, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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