Literature Review on Multiple Sclerosis Patients’ Needs and Treatment Preferences

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Literature Review on Multiple Sclerosis Patients’ Needs and Treatment Preferences

Researchers from the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management of the Erasmus University Rotterdam have done a systematic literature review using scientific databases to retrieve publications on the needs and preferences of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients when making treatment decisions. The publications analysed shed light on the patients’ needs and preferences regarding treatment decisions.


The literature review suggests that for multiple sclerosis patients the most important treatment characteristics are efficacy, the mode of administration and side effects. Also, patients that are non-adherent (i.e. patients that do not follow the treatment recommendations fully) mention that forgetting to administer the treatment is the main reason for non-adherence, followed by perceived lack of efficacy and side effects.


Optogenerapy project partner Erasmus used Embase, Medline, PsychINFO, Web of Sciences and Google Scholar to identify articles and full-text publications. The articles were analysed and categorised according to different moments in the treatment decision-making process: articles on reasons for treatment initiation, on treatment (non-)adherence and discontinuation, reasons for switching treatment and treatment preference studies.


Among the publications retrieved, the majority were on why patients are non-adherent and stop using a disease-modifying drug. Furthermore, they concluded more research has to be done to understand patient preferences upon treatment initiation.


The literature review gives the Optogenerapy project some insight on key aspects regarding patient needs that should be considered when bringing a new multiple sclerosis treatment to the market. Optogenerapy’s concept proposes a continuous drug delivery through a bio-electronic deviceimplanted subcutaneously, which would overcome side effects of current injection treatments such as injection-site reactions and improve the disease’s adherence. Optogenerapy’s bio-electronic implant is a result of an on-going European research project currently being tested in vivo.