Saturday, May 20, 2017

Personalized Treatment for MS or Herd Mentality: What Does Your Neurologist Do?

People diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their neurologists must make many decisions when it comes to treating the disease. With FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies, it can be challenging to know which one to use, if any.

How do doctors and patients choose? To make an informed decision, neurologists are expected to follow clinical practice guidelines that frequently summarize the available medical evidence. Meanwhile, patients are expected to do their own research and consider lifestyle factors and personal preference, as well as doctor recommendations.

It’s clearly unwise for neurologists to follow outdated clinical guidelines; consider that when the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) published its guidelines in 2002, only four treatment options were available. A less obvious concern is when neurologists ignore current clinical guidelines and instead follow the recommendations of other neurologists they know or experts in the field, a behavior called “herding.”

Herding can be detrimental to patient care, suggests a study published in January 2017 in the journal Patient Preference and Adherence.

What is herding in medicine?

Herding is a phenomenon in which individuals follow the behavior of others rather than making a decision independently. Herding occurs in MS care when one neurologist follows the therapeutic recommendation of a colleague even when this advice is not supported by clinical guidelines.

Read this post in its entirety:
Does Your Multiple Sclerosis Specialist Follow the Herd?

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