STOCKHOLM —  In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), enhanced patient satisfaction with their first diagnostic consultation (FDC) was reported when the conversation included a clear communication of the diagnosis, covered many MS-relevant topics, a close relative was present, and a shared decision making approach was used, according to study results presented at the 35th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), held September 11-13, 2019 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Limited data are available regarding the satisfaction of patients with MS with their FDC. The goal of the current retrospective study was to identify FDC factors that may influence patient satisfaction.

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Data from the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Registry was used for the study. The cohort included 386 patients with MS diagnosed after 1995. Of these, 54% were satisfied with their FDC, 22% were neutral, and 24% were not satisfied.

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Statistical analysis indicated patient satisfaction was associated with a conversation that lasted ≥20 minutes (odds ratio [OR], 3.9; 95% CI 2.42-6.27), covered many MS-relevant topics (OR, 1.35; 95% CI 1.19-1.54 per additional topic), included a close relative or a significant other (OR, 1.74; 95% CI 1.03-2.94), and treatment was based on a shared decision making approach (OR, 3.39; 95% CI 1.74-6.59).

When the conversation at the FDC did not include clear communication of the specific diagnosis, the risk for low patient satisfaction was increased (OR, 0.29; 95% CI 0.15-0.55). Furthermore, low patient satisfaction was also associated with missing relevant MS topics regarding life consequences, psychological aspects, and ways to obtain support for and further information on MS.

The researchers concluded that several factors of the FDC are associated with satisfaction in patients with MS, including communicating a clear diagnosis, having a close relative in the room, discussing various MS topics, and a shared decision making approach with regard to future therapy.


Kamm CP, Barin L, Salmen A, et al. Factors influencing patient satisfaction with the first diagnostic consultation in multiple sclerosis: a Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Registry (SMSR) study. Poster presentation at: 35th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis; September 11-13; Stockholm, Sweden. Abstract P349.

This article originally appeared on Neurology Advisor