How can we improve MS care for people from ethnic minority backgrounds?

Patients from minority ethnic backgrounds are currently under-represented in clinical research and patient public involvement (PPI) activities.

Their experience of living with MS is little researched. And the COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted the care of minority ethnic groups with long-term medical conditions, like MS.

The pandemic is entering a more stable phase. So this project aims to explore the current patient experience of MS care from people from minoritised groups.

About the project

The project will focus on people who identify within the Black British and South Asian ethnic groups, who live in socially-deprived areas of London and Yorkshire.

They’ll conduct a series of interviews and focus groups to find out how these groups of people experience MS services. This will include changes since the pandemic began. Particular areas of focus will be on areas the researchers could have immediate impact. For example service access, communication, and information needs.

Analysis will focus on identifying the barriers and challenges in these areas. These will then be taken into co-design workshops. These sessions will bring together project stakeholders (charities, health care professionals, people with MS) to work together to create new service proposals.

The aim is to develop and inform strategies, guidelines and interventions on how to implement health services for MS to Black and South Asian communities, in order to reduce inequities and improve healthcare outcomes.

People with MS from Black British and South Asian backgrounds will join the team as co-researchers. As co-researchers they’ll be involved throughout the project from study design and data analysis to running focus groups.

How will it help people with MS?

By understanding people’s experiences of care, we'll better understand how to improve healthcare and information provision for people from minority ethnic groups in the future.

Information collected during the project will help produce new proposals and recommendations to improve MS services. The team hope this'll help reduce inequality and improve the experiences and health outcomes of people from minority ethnic backgrounds with MS.

The difference you can make

We want everyone with MS to have access to effective ways to manage their symptoms. With your help, we can continue to support vital research like this.