Patient needs and preferences in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A systematic review.

Publication date: Jan 02, 2020

Considering the multiple treatments approved for multiple sclerosis (MS) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA), determining a treatment strategy for patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) can be challenging. To date, an overview of the needs and preferences of patients at each treatment decision-making moment is lacking. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review is to examine the existing literature about the needs and preferences of patients with CIS and RRMS when making treatment decisions.

A systematic search was done using Embase, Medline, PsychINFO, Web of Science and Google Scholar. Eligibility criteria included whether the article described a study of adults with CIS/RRMS and reported patient needs or preferences regarding first-line disease modifying treatment (DMT) decisions. Publications were categorized by treatment decision: initiation of first DMT (D1), DMT adherence/discontinuation (D2a/D2b), and switch to a second DMT (D3). A separate category was created for stated preference studies such as discrete choice experiment methods to examine the relative importance of different treatment attributes. Publications were compared to identify key factors.

The search yielded 2789 articles after removal of duplicates and 434 full-text publications were reviewed for eligibility. Twenty-four articles fulfilled all criteria: n = 5 (D1), n = 12 (D2a), n = 13 (D2b), and n = 3 (D3); six articles studied more than one treatment decision. The need for social support is important during D1. The most commonly reported reasons for adherence/discontinuation/switch included forgetfulness, side-effects, and injection-related reasons. Eight articles described preference studies; the most important DMT attributes were efficacy, mode and frequency of administration, and side-effect profile.

Understanding the needs and preferences of CIS/RRMS patients regarding DMT attributes and non-treatment related attributes are important to improve treatment decision-making and reduce non-adherence. Studies are needed to understand patient preferences upon treatment initiation. Furthermore, preference studies should include attributes based on the patient perspective.

Visser, L.A., Louapre, C., Uyl-de Groot, C.A., and Redekop, W.K. Patient needs and preferences in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: A systematic review. 20255. 2020 Mult Scler Relat Disord (39):

Concepts Keywords
CIS Relapsing–remitting
Discrete Choice Multiple sclerosis
DMT Nervous system
EMA Amines
Embase Organ systems
European Medicines Agency MS
FDA Multiple sclerosis
Google Scholar Systematic search
Medline N,N-Dimethyltryptamine
Multiple Sclerosis Clinically isolated syndrome
Systematic Review


Type Source Name
disease MESH relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
disease MESH multiple sclerosis
disease MESH syndrome
drug DRUGBANK Dimethyltryptamine


Original Article

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