Background: Adequate disease and treatment-related risk knowledge of people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) is a prerequisite for informed choices in medical encounters. Previous work showed that MS risk knowledge is low among pwMS and role preferences are different in Italy and Germany.
Objective: We investigated the level of risk knowledge and role preferences in 8 countries and assessed putative variables associated with risk knowledge.
Methods: An online-survey was performed based on the Risk knowledge questionnaire for people with relapsing-remitting MS (RIKNO 2.0), the electronic Control Preference Scale (eCPS), and other patient questionnaires. Inclusion criteria of participants were: (1) age ≥18 years, (2) a diagnosis of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), (3) being in a decision making process for a disease modifying drug.
Results: Of 1939 participants from Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Serbia, Spain and Turkey, 986 (51%) (mean age 38.6 years [range 18-67], 77% women, 7.8 years of disease duration) completed the RIKNO 2.0, with a mean of 41% correct answers. There were less than 50 participants in the UK and Estonia and data were not analysed. Risk knowledge differed across countries (p < 0.001). Variables significantly associated with higher risk knowledge were higher education (p < 0.001), previous experience with disease modifying drugs (p = 0.001), correct answer to a medical data interpretation question (p < 0.001), while higher fear for wheelchair dependency was negatively associated to risk knowledge (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: MS risk knowledge was overall low and differed across participating countries. These data indicate that information is an unmet need of most pwMS.