Shared decision making and autonomy among us participants with multiple sclerosis in the NARCOMS registry

Stacey S. Cofield, Thomas Nina Thomas, Tuula Tyry, Robert J. Fox, Amber Salter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment decisions in multiple sclerosis (MS) are affected by many factors and are made by the patient, doctor, or both. With new disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) emerging, the complexity surrounding treatment decisions is increasing, further emphasizing the importance of understanding decisionmaking preferences. Methods: North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis (NARCOMS) Registry participants completed the Fall 2014 Update survey, which included the Control Preferences Scale (CPS). The CPS consists of five images showing different patient/doctor roles in treatment decision making. The images were collapsed to three categories: patient-centered, shared, and physician-centered decision-making preferences. Associations between decision-making preferences and demographic and clinical factors were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression. Results: Of 7009 participants, 79.3% were women and 93.5% were white (mean [SD] age, 57.6 [10.3] years); 56.7% reported a history of relapses. Patient-centered decision making was most commonly preferred by participants (47.9%), followed by shared decision making (SDM; 42.8%). SDM preference was higher for women and those taking DMTs and increased with age and disease duration (all P < .05). Patient-centered decisions were most common for respondents not taking a DMT at the time of the survey and were preferred by those who had no DMT history compared with those who had previously taken a DMT (P < .0001). There was no difference in SDM preference by current MS disease course after adjusting for other disease-related factors. Conclusions: Responders reported most commonly considering their doctor's opinion before making a treatment decision and making decisions jointly with their doctor. DMT use, gender, and age were associated with decision-making preference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-312
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


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