Disability may influence patient willingness to participate in decision making on first-line therapy in multiple sclerosis
Patient autonomy is a concept that implies variable degrees of patient participation in different aspects of health and healthcare, including the choice of therapy. This study, conducted in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), examined several factors in relation to the patient's role in the therapeutic decision-making process. One hundred newly diagnosed patients with MS attending their first ever specialist consultation at the MS center of Catania, Italy, were consecutively enrolled in a
... ly enrolled in a single-center, open, observational study. Clinical and demographic data were collected as part of this routine first consultation. Through administration of the Control Preferences Scale, we ascertained the patients' willingness to participate in the decision-making process on their first-line treatment, classifying them, on the basis of their attitude, as passive, collaborative or active. Of 100 patients with MS, 40 had a passive attitude, while 35 were willing to collaborate and 25 wanted to play an active role in the decision-making process. The patients showing an active attitude had a significantly higher Expanded Disability Status Scale score and a significantly higher number of relapses (p<0.5 for both) than those who showed other attitudes. Persons with MS prefer to know the benefits and risks related to the first-line treatment. Those with higher disability prefer to be active in the decision-making process.