University of Tasmania
Menzies Institute for Medical Research

Author Of 2 Presentations

Epidemiology Poster Presentation

P0498 - The effect of national disease modifying therapy subsidy policy on long-term disability outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis (ID 1652)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0498
Presentation Topic
Epidemiology

Abstract

Background

Disease-modifying therapies (DMT), which modify, mediate or suppress the immune system, are a major medication class for treating people with relapsing-onset multiple sclerosis (MS). However, our knowledge about these medications is largely limited to their short-term effects.

Objectives

To determine: 1) the impact of national-level DMT subsidy policy on DMT use and disability in people living with MS (PwMS); and 2) the long-term effects of DMT on disability (EDSS and MSSS) and quality of life (EQ5D5L utility score).

Methods

This project was an ecological, observational cohort study comparing populations in Australia and New Zealand with similar demographics, but markedly different levels of DMT use 10-20 years post-diagnosis. Differences between countries were assessed using standardized differences (Cohen’s d), phi coefficient and Cramer’s V. Associations were assessed with univariable and multivariable (mediation) linear regression models.

Results

We recruited 328 Australian participants, 93.9% of whom had been treated with DMT, and 256 New Zealand participants, 50.4% of whom had been treated with DMT. The Australian cohort had a longer median treatment duration (148 vs 0 months), greater proportion of disease course treated (86% vs 0%), and shorter time between diagnosis and first DMT (3 vs 24 months). The Australian cohort also had lower median EDSS (3.5 vs 4.0) and MSSS (3.05 vs 3.71), and higher quality of life (0.71 vs 0.65) at follow-up. In multivariable models, differences in DMT use significantly mediated the effect of country on disability and quality of life.

Conclusions

This large ecological study provides evidence for the impact of national level policy on DMT use and subsequent disability outcomes in PwMS. It also demonstrates that the protective effect of DMT may mediate the effect of national policy on disability progression and quality of life 10-20 years post-diagnosis in people with relapsing-onset MS.

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Internet and Social Media Poster Presentation

P0668 - Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Massive Open Online Course: Closing The Gap On Information Asymmetry (ID 1723)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0668
Presentation Topic
Internet and Social Media

Abstract

Background

A key market failure in health economics is the concept of information asymmetry between the consumer and supplier where the level of knowledge and expertise is weighted to the supply-side (healthcare provider). In the information-age and the ensuing knowledge economy, people with multiple sclerosis and their carers (consumers) may become more empowered in their negotiated relationship with healthcare providers (physicians, allied-health professionals) after undertaking a fit-for-purpose Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Objectives

We aimed to establish if our fit-for-purpose Understanding Multiple Sclerosis MOOC closed the information asymmetry gap for people with MS and their carers.

Methods

We gathered qualitative data from people with MS and their carers (consumers), and healthcare professionals (suppliers) who undertook our Understanding MS Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through course discussion boards and a feedback survey. We postulated that qualitative research methods would establish if our fit-for-purpose MOOC closed the information asymmetry gap among the MOOC cohort. Our study used the pre-existing health economics theory of information asymmetry to inform qualitative inductive and deductive theory building about the information disseminated through our MOOC. Socio-demographic data were also analysed.

Results

N=5,500 people consented to participate in the study with a range of 200-345 people responding to each discussion question and over 1,200 participants providing free-text responses on the course feedback survey. We found that consumers were more likely to post in discussion boards and were more likely to report knowledge gain than providers. We also identified key information sources for consumers, including MS societies and public-facing text and video blogs.

Conclusions

Our study indicates that information provision through online learning platforms such as the Understanding MS MOOC can operate to close the information asymmetry gap.

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Presenter Of 1 Presentation

Internet and Social Media Poster Presentation

P0668 - Understanding Multiple Sclerosis Massive Open Online Course: Closing The Gap On Information Asymmetry (ID 1723)

Speakers
Presentation Number
P0668
Presentation Topic
Internet and Social Media

Abstract

Background

A key market failure in health economics is the concept of information asymmetry between the consumer and supplier where the level of knowledge and expertise is weighted to the supply-side (healthcare provider). In the information-age and the ensuing knowledge economy, people with multiple sclerosis and their carers (consumers) may become more empowered in their negotiated relationship with healthcare providers (physicians, allied-health professionals) after undertaking a fit-for-purpose Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Objectives

We aimed to establish if our fit-for-purpose Understanding Multiple Sclerosis MOOC closed the information asymmetry gap for people with MS and their carers.

Methods

We gathered qualitative data from people with MS and their carers (consumers), and healthcare professionals (suppliers) who undertook our Understanding MS Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) through course discussion boards and a feedback survey. We postulated that qualitative research methods would establish if our fit-for-purpose MOOC closed the information asymmetry gap among the MOOC cohort. Our study used the pre-existing health economics theory of information asymmetry to inform qualitative inductive and deductive theory building about the information disseminated through our MOOC. Socio-demographic data were also analysed.

Results

N=5,500 people consented to participate in the study with a range of 200-345 people responding to each discussion question and over 1,200 participants providing free-text responses on the course feedback survey. We found that consumers were more likely to post in discussion boards and were more likely to report knowledge gain than providers. We also identified key information sources for consumers, including MS societies and public-facing text and video blogs.

Conclusions

Our study indicates that information provision through online learning platforms such as the Understanding MS MOOC can operate to close the information asymmetry gap.

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