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CoachMS, an innovative closed-loop, interdisciplinary platform to monitor and proactively treat MS symptoms: A pilot study.

  • Author(s): Block, Valerie J;
  • Gopal, Arpita;
  • Rowles, William;
  • -Yueh, Chu;
  • Gelfand, Jeffrey M;
  • Bove, Riley
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

There are numerous challenges to treating co-occurring symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Objective

To pilot the feasibility of a novel symptom management platform, CoachMS, to monitor MS symptoms (bladder function, ambulation, and mood: BAM) and respond to changes in real-time.

Methods

In this 12-week randomized controlled pilot trial, participants' symptoms were monitored using weekly questionnaires and remote ambulatory monitoring (Fitbit Flex2®). Behavioral change principles used included shared goal setting at 2 weeks. Between weeks 2-12, the CoachMS group received targeted contact and interventions if symptoms worsened; the control group were treated through usual clinic practice. Our outcomes were feasibility (retention, adherence and acceptability; primary) and proportion of recommended treatments pursued (secondary); efficacy was explored.

Results

Of 21 participants enrolled, 13 (62%) completed the study; protocol adherence was excellent. CoachMS participants demonstrated greater follow-through with clinical recommendations than controls (OR 9.3, 95% CI (0.9, 97.6)). As a cohort, each BAM symptom tended to improve. Suicidality was detected in one control participant, resulting in urgent evaluation and hospitalization.

Conclusions

The innovative CoachMS platform was feasible and acceptable in this cohort with baseline BAM symptoms. It could represent an accessible, cost-effective tool to monitor MS symptoms in real-time; a larger trial is planned.

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