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June Halper Discusses the Importance of Shared Decision Making in MS Treatment

Shared decision making has been taught to clinicians for years, but it is especially crucial when treating multiple sclerosis (MS) due to the importance of treatment adherence, according to June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN, chief executive officer, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.


Shared decision making has been taught to clinicians for years, but it is especially crucial when treating multiple sclerosis (MS) due to the importance of treatment adherence, according to June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN, chief executive officer, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.

Transcript

With increased emphasis being placed on patient-centered care, how important is it for providers to keep patient preferences in mind and involve shared decision making?

The shared decision-making model is something that’s always been there. I’m a nurse practitioner and one of the things that I learned, first thing in school is the patient’s voice really has to be heard. When you assess a patient you need to ask them “How do you feel about this?” or “What are your choices?” or “How would you like me to care for you? What’s your schedule and how can I fit myself into it?”

So, as a nurse we’ve always accepted that shared decision-making model. What’s new is they’re teaching this in medical school. So, more and more the younger physician, the younger clinician is learning about the patient voice and the dialogue of trying to look at the patient’s gender, ethnicity, age, social and economic background. So, that shared decision making is becoming much more important, particularly now when there are so many choices in MS. There are so many disease-modifying therapies in MS—some of which require a great deal of commitment and time on the patient’s part. We can’t go home and inject them if they are on an injectable. We can’t force them to go for an infusion, they’ve got to schedule and go, and they’ve got to remember to take their pills if they’re on medication that’s oral. So, shared decision making is a crucial mechanism by which you get patients to adhere to therapy and I don’t think that’s going to change for a very long while.

 
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