The assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham discussed the transition from pediatric to adult care for patients with multiple sclerosis as well as the challenges presented in diagnosis, treatment, and understanding the long-term impact of the disease. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 5 minutes
"When transitioning a patient from adolescent to adult care, it is so important that you consider the patient, their caregiver, the pediatric provider, and also the adult provider. It's a team approach where everybody should be involved because the ultimate goal is to provide optimal care for that patient."
The transition of young patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) from pediatric clinics to adult clinics is a challenging process but also a critical aspect to ensure long-term well-being for patients. According to a recent study, the establishment of transition monitoring and counseling centers as well as the provision of counseling and education services for patients and their caregivers is of high importance to sustain care for all MS services.1 Therefore, it is essential to consider the pediatric patients and the caregivers when providers are helping them to transition to adult MS care.
Yolanda Wheeler, PhD, CPNP-AC, MSCN, assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UBA), gave a talk in a session focused on the history of MS such as with diagnosis and management of the disease in specific populations at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, held May 31 to June 3, in Aurora, Colorado. In her presentation, she specifically talked about managing MS in pediatric patients and the adult care transition of care for these patients whereas the rest of the talks in the session discussed other fundamentals of MS care.2
Wheeler, a pediatric nurse practitioner at the UAB Center for Pediatric Onset Demyelinating Disease, sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of her presentation as well as the main key points. She talked about the challenges in diagnosing pediatric MS and identifying it from other diseases in the pediatric population. Wheeler also spoke about how healthcare providers can address the issues of medication adherence and understanding the long-term impact of MS in young patients with the disease. In addition, she discussed the benefits of a multidisciplinary team approach to ensure a smooth transition from pediatric MS to adult MS care for patients.