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Way Ahead Volume 18 Part 2 (April 2014)

Policy and campaigning

Alice Hamilton, Policy Officer, MS Trust

Our latest policy and campaigning news including:

  • update on our web-based resource for MS nurses, based around six common threats
  • other policy news - including information on Scotland's Peer Approved Clinical System (PACS); a major new strategy from Wales - Together for health: the neurological conditions delivery plan; and the UK-wide Disability and health employment strategy

Providing effective risk communication to patients

Maria Vega Sota, Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Nurse, St George's Hospital, London

This article discusses the challenge of providing effective risk communication to patients and reviews the strategies that can help healthcare professionals to explain risks to patients effectively. Reference is made to how the MS team at St George's use these strategies when explaining the risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencaphalopathy (PML) to patients considering natalizumab treatment.

Functional neurological symptoms and MS

Mark Edwards, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Neurologist, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London

Functional neurological symptoms is the umbrella term for a variety of symptoms of apparent neurological origin which can't be medically explained, either psychologically or organically, and are not consciously produced by the patient. Functional neurological symptoms are one of the commonest reasons for referral to neurology outpatients. This article looks at diagnosing functional neurological symptoms; the challenges of communicationg the diagnosis; and the treatment of fuctional symptoms.

Do you hear what your patient is telling you? Understanding the meaning behind the narrative

Andrew Soundy, Lecturer in Physiotherapy, University of Birmingham, Birmingham

Illness narratives are the stories of health and illness, and their effect on an individual's life. Typically they are the story of the person with the condition, but they can include the narratives of relatives about the effects the illness has had on their own life and their relationship with the person who is ill. By sharing, listening to and valuing different narratives, neurological physiotherapists are able to assist their patients' psychological recovery alongside their physical recovery. This article explores the different narrative types and how they can change over time.

In a second article, Lou Jarrett, Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Nurse Specialist, Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Devon looks at using narrative in nursing practice.

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