Infectious Disease

Sufferers with MS report an elevated consciousness of COVID-19

February 26, 2021

2 min read

Source / information

Source:

Ben-Zacharia A et al. Abstract 189. Presented on: ACTRIMS Forum; February 25-27, 2020 (virtual meeting).

Disclosure:
Healio Neurology was unable to confirm any relevant financial information for Ben-Zacharia at the time of publication.

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Patients with MS, healthy controls, and healthcare providers showed increased awareness of the risk of COVID-19 infection, according to the results of a cross-sectional survey presented at the ACTRIMS virtual meeting.

Most respondents also asked about additional strategies for prevention and treatment, and preferred to get information from health care providers.

“COVID-19 can cause mild to severe illness. The most serious illnesses occur in adults aged 65 and over and in people with serious medical problems,” the researchers write. “Knowledge, attitudes and practices of COVID-19 have a direct impact on preventing and mitigating the spread of the virus.”

Aliza Bitton Ben-Zechariah

Aliza Bitton Ben-Zacharia, PhD, DNP, ANP-BC, FAAN, The assistant professor at the Hunter Bellevue School of Nursing in New York and colleagues examined knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding COVID-19 among health professionals, patients with MS, and healthy controls, and compared perceived risk between groups. The cross-sectional survey comprised 146 participants.

All respondents (100%) stated that they had changed their behavior to prevent COVID-19 infection. Ben-Zacharia and colleagues found that most participants would “welcome someone into their community” after that person recovered from COVID-19 (94.5%). Almost 90% of respondents (88.4%) said they were willing to accept an approved vaccine against COVID-19. More than half of respondents (61%) said they would also accept a vaccine for their children.

The researchers observed a statistical association between moderate risk for COVID-19 and the uptake of people who had recovered from COVID-19 into their communities (P = 0.009). They also found a trend association between the level of risk and all groups (P = 0.05).

In particular, 26% of health professionals reported a high risk of COVID-19 that was higher than patients with MS and healthy controls, while 68% of healthy controls reported a moderate risk that was higher than patients with MS and loved ones of the health professions. 29.3% of MS patients reported a low risk of COVID-19 that was higher than that of health professionals and healthy controls.

Ben-Zacharia and colleagues found that most participants preferred to receive medical information from their clinical team. More than 60% of respondents wanted information about medical care and treatment options from these health professionals. Almost 40% wanted information about ways to prevent COVID-19. About 20% of respondents also wanted information about the cause / origin of COVID-19 and signs and symptoms of the disease.

“Awareness of this has been raised [COVID-19] Risk in MS Patients, Health Professionals, and Healthy Control Subjects, ”the researchers wrote. “The perceived risk in health professionals was higher than in patients and healthy controls.”

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