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Way Ahead Volume 12 Part 4 (September 2008)

MS Trust audits MS services

Nicola Russell, Director of Services, MS Trust

This article highlights the findings of the second audit of services for people with MS carried out by the MS Trust and the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

Policy and campaigning update

Information Team, MS Trust

This article takes a look at the recent Darzi review, plans to reorganise NHS Wales and the development of a commissioning pathway for MS.

Psychological support for MS: what does a clinical psychologist contribute to an MS service?

Julia Boot, Clinical Psychologist, Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Chester

For people with MS, the emotional aspects of living with a long-term condition can prove just as challenging as the physical aspects. In spite of this, clinical psychologists remain largely peripheral members of MS services in the UK. This article shares the findings of an audit of one MS team which reflects just how valuable the input of a clinical psychologist can be.

Imaging brain plasticity in multiple sclerosis

Valentina Tomassini, Functional MRI of the Brain Centre, University of Oxford, Department of Clinical Neurology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford

Increasingly sophisticated brain imaging techniques indicate that brain plasticity - the brain's ability to reorganise neural pathways based on new experiences - is the compensatory mechanism largely responsible for the clinical remissions that are typically seen in in the early stages of relapsing remitting MS. This article gives an overview of the imaging techniques used in MS and what they can show.

Sexual expression, physical disability and professional practice

Lorna Couldrick, Senior Lecturer, School of Health Professions, University of Brighton, Brighton

Although many health professionals feel that addressing service users' sexual issues should be included as part of their role, they often do not feel confident, or competent, enough to practice in this area. This article looks at the results of an extensive study which was carried out looking at the relationship between sexual expression, physical disability and professional practice.

The outcome measure minefield

Derek Laidler, Physiotherapist, Wansbeck General Hospital, Northumberland

Health professionals in all fields of practice are increasingly coming under pressure to validate the services they provide, but this can be challenging. This article highlights the difficulties the author encountered in identifying an appropriate outcome measure for a group-based physiotherapy intervention for people with MS.


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