Purpose: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating, degenerative disease requiring long-term treatment. Patient adherence to treatment may be challenging in such scenarios, especially since treatment often involves self-injection, for example, with interferon beta-1b during therapy. BETACONNECT™ is a novel electronic autoinjector for patient support in interferon beta-1b administration. The purpose of this survey was to assess patient satisfaction with the BETACONNECT™ device and its features.
Patients and methods: A total of 2,299 MS patients using the BETACONNECT™ device were asked to participate in a survey in October 2014. All of these candidates participated in the BETAPLUS(®) program and had provided written informed consent. The participants were asked to answer 13 device-related questions.
Results: Of these candidates, 1,365 replied to the questionnaire, with more than 60% of the participants being 40-59 years of age. Among them, 69% were women and 21% were men (10% not specified). Approximately half of the participants received treatment with interferon beta-1b for more than 5 years. Most participants (85%) had used self-injection devices before, with 59% previously using BETACOMFORT(®), 23% using BETAJECT(®) Comfort, and 3% using BETAJECT(®) Lite, while less than 4% manually injected interferon beta-1b. The majority of the participants had received the BETACONNECT™ device from a BETAPLUS(®) nurse (87%) and 48% had already used the device for more than 2 months (49% for 2 months or less). Among the participants, more than 90% evaluated the BETACONNECT™ device as "very helpful" or "helpful" in supporting their interferon beta-1b therapy with only marginal sex differences. Features that were rated "very important" by more than half of the participants included adjustability of injection speed and depth, contact sensor for avoidance of unintentional release, optical and acoustic signals, and rechargeable battery.
Conclusion: The vast majority of patients rated the BETACONNECT™ device as very helpful or helpful for their treatment with interferon beta-1b, and many considered most features as "very important". In conclusion, usage of the BETACONNECT™ autoinjector may facilitate interferon beta-1b therapy and support adherence to long-term therapeutic regimen.
Keywords: RRMS; electronic autoinjector; immunomodulatory therapy; patient survey; relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis.