Abstract General Information
Experience with telemedicine in Multiple Sclerosis
Introduction: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, autoimmune, and demyelinating disease that affects the central nervous system, in young adults. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) is used to assess motor disability in MS. In early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic imposed social distancing, and the use of telehealth was essential to maintain quality care. Since xxxx, it has been known that telephone use is useful for reducing unnecessary visits. The Telehealth Program of Brazil's Unified Health System (SUS) provides remote care in order to meet the principles of quality health care: safe, patient-centered, avoiding unnecessary trips, and was regulated by the Ministry of Health (MS) in June 2022.
Objective: To report the experience of performing the EDSS scale through phone contact.
Method: The work was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic period, in the Demyelinating Diseases Center at Santa Casa de São Paulo, using a synchronous telemedicine modality, where information is transmitted in real-time by phone. It was conducted from July 2021 to January 2022. Contact was made by telephone, with prior scheduling of the day and time of the call, with a standardized questionnaire for clinical evaluation and application of the EDSS a by phone.
Results: 31 patients were evaluated, 23 of them were women. The average call time was 30 minutes. The EDSS score was zero (9 patients), 1 (2 patients), 2 (9 patients), 3 (8 patients), and 6 (1 patient), similar to the results of the previous face-to-face evaluation.
Conclusions: The use of teleconsultation meets patient demands, allowing patient follow-up without face-to-face consultation. This is possible through trained professionals and pre-defined protocols for the correct management of certain situations. The analysis shows patient satisfaction with communication ease, feeling heard, and the availability of time, demonstrating the positive impact of this practice.
IVONE REGINA FERNANDES, Maria Fernanda Mendes, Antonio REGINA Yasbek