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Way Ahead Volume 11 Part 2 (April 2007)

There is currently no pdf available for this issue of Way Ahead. Please contact if you would like a printed copy of any of the articles from this issue.

Policy and campaigning

Information Team, MS Trust

Overview of a number of new policies from the Scottish Executive addressing the question of how to best provide care to an ageing population, the new therapy strategy in Wales and the draft legislation from Northern Ireland to restructure health and personal social services. Also details the MS Trust Business Plan, which gives a structured, step-by-step guide for MS specialist nurses and AHPs working in the NHS to record activity and assess its value to managers and employers.

A team approach to evaluating the need for assistive technology reduces equipment abandonment

Riccardo Verza, Occupational Therapist, Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society Rehabilitation Centre, Padua, Italy

The aims of assistive technology are to improve functioning to allow a person to remain in their home, control his or her environment and enhance independence. However, improved functioning alone is no guarantee that assistive technology will be utilised. This article examines when, and why, assistive devices are abandoned and compares two distinct methods of prescribing assistive technology to determine whether a multidisciplinary approach reduced rates of equipment abandonment.

The importance of choosing an appropriate data collection method in research into stigmatised or embarrassing symptoms

Brian Buckley, Researcher in Primary Care, Department of General Practice, National University of Ireland, Galway

Selecting the appropriate methodology is essential for the effectiveness of any research. Particular attention must be paid to the methods used to gather information from subjects in research in clinical areas that are considered ‘sensitive’, or ‘taboo’, or in which public understanding is low, such as mental health, sexual health and incontinence. This article compares two recent surveys carried out amongst adults with MS in County Donegal into the use of ‘aids and appliances’, including incontinence aids, and demonstrates the effect of different methods of data collection on the findings of the surveys and the potential reasons behind the disparities.

Group therapy to improve communicative participation in people with multiple sclerosis and dysarthria

Clare Laing, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist in Neuro-rehabilitation, NHS Grampian

The most frequent communication disorder experienced by people with MS is dysarthria, a motor speech disorder resulting from damage affecting muscles used in speech production. This can cause problems with articulation and volume, and difficulties with respiration, speech rate and intonation. This article looks at the development of a communication therapy group to determine if it was an effective way of working on speech, whilst also addressing the social context of communication by improving communicative confidence and competence.

Skills development programmes for MS specialist nurses

Vicki Gutteridge, Nurse Advisor, MS Trust

In 2004, the MS Trust announced the launch of a skills development programme linked to supporting the Learning Needs Analysis Tool, the MS nurses competencies and the Knowledge and Skills Framework. This article looks at the various different courses available and also an example of personal experience of the Project management skills workshop.

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