Friday, 17 April 2015

ClinicSpeak: moving forward with group clinics

It looks like there is an appetite for group clinics? #ClinicSpeak #MSResearch #MSBlog

"After the enthusiastic reception of my post earlier this week I would now like to take the concept of group clinics forward. Yes, we are going to put in an expression of interest for funding, but as potential users we need your help to design the clinic(s). The following figure sketches out what we require for the grant application. By completing the survey below you will help inform us on what format and design the group clinics should have. Over the next few weeks we will come back to you with questions in relation to the red boxes."



"The deadline for the National Institute for Health Research's (NIHR's) call to develop and evaluate group clinics for managing chronic conditions is in mid May. Therefore we don't have much time. There is evidence that group clinics work, in particular in areas such as diabetes and hypertension. The question is will they work for MS?"


"The idea that we are working on is to arrange group clinics to manage specific symptomatic problems that affect MSers. We would propose bringing together 8-10 MSers with the same problem, for example MS-related fatigue. We would envisage all attendees of the clinic completing a standardised questionnaire prior to the clinic to look into factors associated with MS-related fatigue and to rate the fatigue. The clinic will then be run by several healthcare professionals (HCPs) and will include a discussion about MS-related fatigue and how we investigate and manage the problem. As part of the clinic MSers can ask questions and discuss their problems with other MSers and the HCPs. The HCPs will then guide the group in terms of identifying what fatigue-related investigations need performing, if any, for example blood tests, sleep or bladder function studies in individual MSers. We would then discuss the management of fatigue and individual MSers can identify what is appropriate for them. The aim of the clinic would be to educate MSers about fatigue self-management. We would envisage a group clinic lasting much longer than an individual consultation with a neurologist or nurse specialist, possibly 90 minutes instead of the usual in-and-out follow-up consultation that lasts 10 minutes. The group clinic will be concluded by the development of individual investigation and care plans and followed by a follow-up clinic at a specific time-point in the future to assess whether or not the intervention(s) worked. We would envisage supporting the group clinic using a secure social networking platform so that attendees of the group clinic can communicate with each other so as to let each other know if the interventions are working and for them to share best practice amongst the group members. The primary aim of the group clinics would be to improve outcomes and quality of life MSers and to help improve the efficiency of the NHS. To assess the latter we would do qualitative research that will allow us to measure the success and.or failure of the experiment."

"Do you think Group clinics could work? Would you be interested in participating in group clinics?"



"Please feel free to help; any ideas would be welcome."

2 comments:

  1. I'm not in the UK, but will chuck my two bob's worth in anyway. I think that the idea has considerable merit, and offers MSers the opportunity to get more assistance in dealing with the impacts of their MS, while at the same time being more cost effective than one-on-one sessions with specialist practitioners. The opportunity to share tips and trick with fellow MSers dealing with similar problems would be beneficial. However, I suspect that the usual topics that no-one wants to talk about i.e. bladder bowels, and sexual function would not be successful in a group setting - they are too personal to talk about in front of others.

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  2. I don't live in the UK either but as I'm currently leading a support group for MSers I can say that bladder/bowl problems do get up in our discussiond. I think that's because we are all in the same boat. So I think it's a great idea..

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