Digital Treatment Approach May Help Reduce Healthcare Burden for MS Fatigue: Federica Picariello, PhD


The postdoctoral researcher and health psychologist at King's College London spoke at ECTRIMS 2022 about the digital approach to treating fatigue in multiple sclerosis and the lack of available measurements. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes

“I think through digital approach, having the opportunity for neurologists to log in and see the activity patterns of their patients, having psychologists have this kind of overarching system where there is maybe no need for direct communication. Having a digital system where patients can log in and see how they're doing, and healthcare professionals can just provide the basis for patient centered care.”

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) commonly face fatigue symptoms which can impair quality of life. A UK-based, cross-sectional survey recently conducted by Federica Picariello, PhD and colleagues, showed that 90.3% of patients with MS reported experiencing fatigue and 30.8% reported at least 1 type of pharmacological/nonpharmacological treatment for fatigue offered to them (total respondents, n = 4367).1

Approximately 22.4% of pharmacological treatments were offered in comparison to 12.6% for nonpharmacological approaches such as exercise (2.9%) and behavioral therapy (5.9%). Based on the logistic regression model in the study, lower odds of being offered fatigue treatment were associated with older age, working, shorter time since MS diagnosis, and lower fatigue. Overall, the study highlighted the significant need to find treatments that address MS fatigue.

Picariello, a postdoctoral researcher and psychologist, King's College London, recently sat down with NeurologyLive® at the 2022 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress, which took place October 26-28, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, to talk about how adding digital healthcare can bridge communication between the psychology and neurology aspects of a patient’s fatigue. She also discussed the lack of standard assessments for measuring fatigue and the reasons for it.

 1. Picariello F, Freeman J, Moss-Morris R. Defining routine fatigue care in Multiple Sclerosis in the United Kingdom: What treatments are offered and who gets them?. Mult Scler J Exp Transl Clin. 2022;8(1):20552173211072274. Published online January 20, 2022. doi:10.1177/20552173211072274
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