Telehealth services benefiting multiple sclerosis patients

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A new study has indicated that telehealth services that became widely popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been greatly beneficial for multiple sclerosis patients as they were able to more frequently to keep in contact with their health care providers and were highly satisfied with the outcome.

The study, published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, looked at the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on health care among individuals with MS and their findings indicate that there were high rates of health care disruption among individuals with MS and neurologically healthy individuals, but also found that people with MS were more likely to utilize telehealth services than people without MS.

The study was based on data obtained through online survey collected between September and October 2020. Tesearchers analyzed rates of health care disruptions, such as missing or canceling appointments and experiencing delays, and telehealth use for medical care and mental health care of individuals with and without MS.

According to the study, telehealth appointments almost doubled the rates of in-person medical care appointments and rates of mental telehealth appointments were more than five times higher than in-person appointments. Since individuals with MS require regular medical care, the onset of medical facility closures and social distancing measures during the early onset of the pandemic was cause for concern because health care providers understood that this would pose a significant impact on the health of this population.