Pandemic led to profound changes in MS clinical practice

April 29, 2021
A survey of U.S. multiple sclerosis specialist clinicians reveals the COVID-19 pandemic has created major changes in how they deliver care. Survey respondents included some of the most highly trained MS specialists in the country, considered to be thought leaders for other clinicians in their disciplines.

According to researchers at the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, MS specialist neurologists tended to prescribe fewer immunosuppressive agents during the pandemic. Survey respondents also commented on their perceived level of safety and support in the workplace during the pandemic. 

Most indicated they had access to adequate personal protective equipment, but fewer than 50 percent reported they had adequate ability to physically distance themselves at work. Nearly 10 percent of respondents reported they had been redeployed, most commonly to the front lines of COVID-19 care.

Researchers stressed that people living with MS need consistent support from their clinicians to ensure they receive the best possible health care.

Next, the team plans to study how clinical practice patterns in MS care will change as more research data are published during the upcoming months, including from ongoing studies exploring how various MS disease-modifying therapies affect outcomes from SARS CoV-2 infection.

The findings were published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

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