We’ve launched a new tool to help people with MS explore treatment options and prepare for conversations with health professionals.
The tool asks a series of questions then suggests treatments that seem a good match based on what you tell it.
The tool’s suggestions are not recommendations. You can use them as a starting point for a conversation with your neurologist or MS nurse who will be able to tell you which treatments are available for your MS.
Why make a new DMT tool?
Evidence shows treating MS early can slow progression. But deciding what therapy to take, or if you want to take one at all, can be one of the hardest, most personal choices someone with MS will make.
There’s now around 20 approved branded therapies for MS. They’re all different in terms of how you take them, what side-effects you might experience and how they impact your daily life.
Our DMT information pages can help people make this decision. And our MS Helpline is here for people to chat things through with. But with a choice like this we wanted to go a step further to empower our community to explore their options and find the best DMT for them.
Insights from research
In 2016, we funded CRIMSON, a Leeds University research project. Behavioural psychologists and research scientists worked with people with MS to look at issues people consider in their decisions about treatment.
They worked with over 50 people with relapsing MS. Considerations that came out of their research included:
how often a treatment is delivered and how (tablet, infusion, injection)
how a DMT fits with people's lifestyle (including work life, and plans for a family
At the end of the project, they produced a static website that takes people with relapsing MS through everything they might want to know about treatments. It’s designed to be used with your neurologist, you can explore CRIMSON’s tool here.
We worked with our community to build a prototype based on research and design from our agency partner MC2. We tested the prototype with our MS community, including people living with MS and neurologists.
As a result of your feedback we made changes to the tool to
- remove our risk-from-side-effects ratings. Neurologists told us it was too simplistic way to treat side effects, which are different for everyone. Instead we list side effects on the results page
- remove a question about travelling with medication and replace it with one about time commitments. Our community told us it’s much easier to travel with injection pens and treatments these days. Time away from paid work or caring responsibilities was a more important consideration
- add information about treatments in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands
- rework some questions to be inclusive of menopausal and trans people
Help us keep improving
We're launching the tool today and hope you'll find it helps with conversations with your health care team.
But it doesn't end here, we won't stop trying to make it better. And that's where we need your help. We're going to assess the tool in 3 surveys. Could you help us by sparing some time to tell us what you think?
Huge thanks to our MS Helpline team, all the neurologists and people with MS who shared invaluable feedback and insights.