The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on MS management: MS community perspectives

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all, but there are additional difficulties for those with pre-existing healthcare needs, including people with multiple sclerosis. In early September 2020, Shift.ms sought to gain a deeper understanding into how the COVID-19 pandemic is specifically impacting MSers around the world - from the disruption of daily routines to the dramatic changes to the delivery of healthcare. 

MSer insights

Shift.ms developed an online survey and shared it with the international Shift.ms MSer community. The aim of this survey was to unearth specific insights into MSers’ perceived risks and concerns regarding COVID-19, their greatest challenges faced in managing their MS day-to-day, and their experiences of how the pandemic has impacted their access to MS clinical care. 

Nearly 1,500 MSers responded to the survey. The results are pretty striking and, we believe, of great importance to the MS community as a whole; people with MS, MS specialist clinicians and MS organisations alike.

Here’s a summary of a few of the top-line findings which focus on the impact of the pandemic on MSers’ access to clinical care.

MS healthcare professional insights

We used the insights from the MSer survey to help drive MS Reporters video interviews with global MS healthcare professionals, in order to hear their perspectives. Each of these four video interviews answers pressing questions: What does great MS care look like now? What are the biggest changes we’re seeing or may need to brace ourselves for? How can we mitigate the issues raised by a new-look delivery of care? And how can we get through this difficult time with the best possible outcomes for MSers? 

Watch the interviews here

The white paper: our in-depth report of the overall findings

The full MSer survey results and overview of the MS HCP insights can be viewed here in our White Paper. The paper presents insights into MSers’ greatest challenges at this time, and their experiences and reflections of how the pandemic is impacting clinical care. The white paper also suggests opportunities as to how MS HCPs can best support MSers during the pandemic and beyond.

With thanks to..

Shift.ms would like to thank all the MSers who took the time to provide their feedback on the survey and for sharing their experiences. We would also like to thank Dominic Shadbolt (MS Reporter, UK), Professor Laura Airas (Finland), Professor Riley Bove (USA), Professor Gavin Giovannoni (UK), and Professor Tjalf Ziemssen (Germany) for their participation in the MS Reporters interviews. Finally, we would like to thank Sanofi Genzyme for providing financial support for this project, and helpful insights into the survey design and findings.