Multiple sclerosis patients and clinical care in Taiwan

Mei Yun Cheng, Ya Chen Wang, Tony Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: Multiple sclerosis (MS) displays marked clinical heterogeneity. However, what healthcare services MS patients would use is not clear. The purpose of this retrospective study is to understand how patients diagnosed with MS used clinical services over a 10-year period in Taiwan. Methods: Data from 123 consecutive patients meeting Poser or McDonald criteria for a diagnosis of MS treated at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, were reviewed. Data were analyzed in a descriptive manner and non-categorical variables were compared using the Mann-Whitney U-test or student's t-test. Associated factors were analyzed with logistic regression and/or a multiple regression model. Results: The average age at the first signs of MS was 35.5±13.1 years, and the average duration between the first disease episode and confirmed diagnosis was 1.6±3.3 years. We found that 51.6% (33/64) of patients with optic pathway symptoms visited a medical center as their first choice when seeking medical care, followed by 48.4% (31/64) of patients with brainstem/cerebellum symptoms. There was no significant difference in time lag between the first attack and the confirmed diagnosis. Discussion: These observations may be helpful in raising further awareness of the disease among general practitioners and neurologists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-675
Number of pages5
JournalNeurological Research
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 09 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Healthcare providers
  • Interferons
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurology

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