Talking Transitional Readiness for Teens With Multiple Sclerosis: Vikram Bhise, MD


The associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at Rutgers–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School commented on the need to recognize when adolescent patients are ready to learn more about their condition. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“A lot of it—and I don't have a defined point [but] hopefully, that's something we can figure out in further studies—is listening very carefully for that point where teenagers are ready to listen. There may be a sense in the beginning that it's just too overwhelming, or they know that their parents are taking care of it, or the perhaps they're in a bit of denial, or just that they want some time to process things.”

Transition readiness is crucial for patients with pediatric multiple sclerosis (MS), ideally discussed during a visit(s) focused solely on the move to adulthood. Vikram Bhise, MD, associate professor, pediatrics and neurology; and division director, division of child neurology and neurodevelopmental disabilities, Rutgers–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, discussed the need to engage teenagers with MS in conversation, particularly when they signal that they are ready to begin learning more about their condition. Listening for this readiness can assist in identifying the best time to schedule a transition visit to set goals and identify patients’ individual areas of need. 

Findings from the qualitative study were presented at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), October 25-28, with investigators finding 4 main themes following semi-structured interviews with patients between the ages of 15 and 26 years. Bhise advised clinicians to ask “commonsense questions” that may be important for a teenager who would not have considered the distance to the nearest emergency room from their college campus or where they will pick up their medication from. He further advised discussing the importance of patient outlook and involvement, as both can impact desired outcomes. 

For more coverage of CMSC 2021, click here.


Veras JM, Thoby E, Nallapati S, Jimenez M, Bhise V. No one really plans to have multiple sclerosis: Transition readiness and quality of life in pediatric multiple sclerosis. Presented at: 2021 CMSC Annual Meeting; October 25-28. Abstract PSY06.

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