M. ALISSA WILLIS, MD
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, Mississippi, USA
In the United States, we herald the new year with fireworks and plans for growth and/or change. This is a time of intense personal reflection and future planning. The editorial team of the International Journal of MS Care (IJMSC) has managed many changes in the past few years. I love the new appearance of the journal and the practice point highlights. We remain very focused on the mission: promote multidisciplinary cooperation and communication among the global network of multiple sclerosis (MS) health care professionals, with the goal of maximizing the quality of life of people affected by MS. IJMSC’s New Year’s resolutions are to shorten the time from article submission to publication and to grow the international awareness and accessibility of our journal.
We have a fantastic and practical set of papers to kick off the new year. This issue brings together multiple perspectives and disciplines related to MS care. The MS team continues to grow beyond neurologists and neurology advanced practice providers. It truly takes a village to provide exceptional care to and support for people living with MS.
Bainbridge and colleagues explore the critical role of clinical pharmacists in providing patient-centered care for individuals with MS. Mizell investigates the implications of insurance restrictions on individuals with a new diagnosis of MS. These articles shed light on the challenges posed by prior authorization requirements, offering valuable insights into the intersection of health care policies and patient outcomes.
I expect and encourage my patients with MS to ask questions. The diagnosis itself is life-changing even when the person with MS has an exam with normal findings. The paper by Mahmoud et al addresses the challenges faced by health care providers when managing the direct and indirect care of patients with MS. It highlights the impact of portal messages on neurologists, exploring the dynamics between patient care, provider burden, and the role of technology. Van den Berg and colleagues investigate the reasons patients with primary progressive MS contact their specialist nurses.
Disease-modifying therapies are important, but quality of life is often impacted by symptom management. The health care service audit by Jasin-Pathiranage et al explores the awareness and utilization of public physiotherapy services in supporting individuals with MS. The manuscript underscores the importance of physiotherapy as an integral component of rehabilitation. The systematic review by Turkowitch and colleagues addresses another critical aspect of MS care—sleep. By examining various behavioral interventions, from cognitive behavioral therapy to mindfulness, the authors offer a comprehensive overview of strategies to improve sleep and, subsequently, overall quality of life for individuals with MS.
The continuing education article by Briggs and colleagues tackles the significant issue of racial disparities in MS care, highlighting the urgent need to recognize and address social determinants of health to achieve equitable outcomes for all individuals with MS.
When I reflect on the past management of multiple sclerosis and the patients I cared for during my early career, I am excited about how far we have come and I anxiously await new treatment approaches on the horizon. Like most of you reading this editorial, I resolve to advance MS care by sharing what I know and what I learn with others. Let’s continue to share our observations and best practices. We hope that you will consider IJMSC as a forum for sharing your experiences, observations, challenges, and solutions.