Expectations and needs of patients concerning the treatment of multiple sclerosis and the results of the BENEFIT 11 study

Zakład Psychologii Klinicznej i Psychoprofilaktyki, Instytut Psychologii, Uniwersytet Szczeciński, Szczecin, Polska
Adres do korespondencji: Prof. Andrzej Potemkowski, ul. Krakowska 71-79, 71-017 Szczecin, tel.: +48 602 658 482, e-mail: andrzej.potemkowski@wp.pl

Aktualn Neurol 2015, 15 (3), p. 119–123
DOI: 10.15557/AN.2015.0016

The expectations and needs of patients concerning the treatment of multiple sclerosis focus on the improvement of chances for the pursuit of their life goals. The contemporary patient has an increasing amount of information on the indications for the use of different medicines. Therefore, the conclusions derived from the BENEFIT study summarised results, especially those concerning the last follow-up – after 11 years, have generated knowledge of vital importance to the patients. It was demonstrated that the patients who started their therapy earlier had a longer time to conversion to multiple sclerosis – by 2.7 years compared to the group with postponed treatment. The annualised relapse rate was significantly lower and the time to the next relapse was significantly longer in patients who received treatment early. Only 13.3% of individuals left employment immediately after they were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and only 12.2% went on disability pension. The results of the BENEFIT 11 study, especially those relating to professional activity, support the idea of starting the treatment as early as possible and are important particularly to those patients for whom work is a value in itself. The knowledge derived from the BENEFIT 11 study that early interferon beta treatment provides a chance for maintaining professional activity, delays the conversion from the relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis to the secondary progressive form of the disease and minimises the progression of disability, significantly affects the patient’s willingness to comply with the recommendations and treatment regimens, i.e. promotes patient adherence. This knowledge should also be the basis of communication with those individuals who will be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and who will be asking questions about their future.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis, therapy, expectations, needs