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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Volume 43 Number 1, January/February 2006
Pages 25 — 34

Abstract - Exploring educational needs of multiple sclerosis care providers: Results of a care-provider survey

Aaron P. Turner, PhD;1-2* Christine Martin, PhD;3-4 Rhonda M. Williams, PhD;1-2 Kelly Goudreau, DSN, RN;5 James D. Bowen, MD;1,6 Michael Hatzakis Jr, MD;1-2 Ruth H. Whitham, MD;5,7 Dennis N. Bourdette, MD;5,7 Lynne Walker, RN, BSN, CRRN;1 Jodie K. Haselkorn, MD, MPH1-2

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA; 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 3Baltimore VA Medical Center (VAMC), Baltimore, MD; 4Department of Neurology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD; 5Portland VAMC, Portland, OR; 6Department of Neurology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; 7Department of Neurology, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Abstract-Our objective was to survey experienced multiple sclerosis (MS) care providers, determine their ongoing professional educational needs, and develop future education programs. We asked providers across a variety of disciplines to identify the areas in which clinical consultation and continuing medical education (CME) would most improve their ability to provide care to individuals with MS; their preferred education modalities; and their confidence in providing care related to disease-modifying agents (DMAs), fatigue, depression, spasticity, and bladder management. At a national meeting of MS professionals, 152 MS care providers completed a self-report survey that was designed for this cross-sectional cohort study. Areas of greatest interest for clinical consultation and CME were identical and included cognition, fatigue, DMA use, spasticity, pain, sex, diagnosis of MS, and depression. Participants expressed a preference for live and interactive CME modalities. Confidence in providing specific disease-related care sometimes differed between Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and non-VHA providers. The results indicate that clinical consultations and CME should be targeted to the topics of greatest interest identified by providers and delivered in a live or interactive modality whenever possible.
Key words: cognition, depression, disease-modifying agents, education, fatigue, multiple sclerosis, multiple sclerosis diagnosis, pain, sexual function, spasticity.

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