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An exploratory study regarding communication facilitators and barriers reported by a cohort of multiple sclerosis (MS) community members from the international massive open online course ‘Understanding MS’

Campbell, J ORCID: 0000-0002-1820-6758, Shaw, SN, Mainsbridge, C ORCID: 0000-0002-4600-2058, Taylor, BVM and Claflin, SB ORCID: 0000-0001-6545-946X 2021 , 'An exploratory study regarding communication facilitators and barriers reported by a cohort of multiple sclerosis (MS) community members from the international massive open online course ‘Understanding MS’' , Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders , pp. 1-15 , doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2021.103473.

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Abstract

AbstractBackgroundEffective communication is essential for high-quality multiple sclerosis (MS)-related healthcare, but significant knowledge and practice gaps remain in this area. The aim of this study was to explore facilitators and barriers of communication about MS reported by members of the MS community.MethodsWe conducted an exploratory mixed method study analysing self-reported facilitators and barriers to communication among MS community members participating in a free international online course about MS (called Understanding MS) who commented on an optional discussion board. We quantitatively compared commenters with course participants who did not comment and, among commenters, compared health information consumers (people with MS, caregivers) and suppliers (healthcare providers, service providers, researchers) using chi square and t-tests. We evaluated free text discussion board responses for emergent themes, comparing and contrasting consumer and supplier responses.ResultsWe found that the sociodemographic characteristics of commenters (n=262) were similar to course participants overall including age, sex and MS community role. However, among commenters, consumers (n=152) were about 9 years older than suppliers (n=57) on average (mean age consumers 52.9 years; suppliers 44.0 years pConclusionsEffective communication remains a challenge in the MS community, particularly between health information suppliers and health information consumers. The results of this exploratory study highlight areas that should be considered when developing communication strategies for MS community members. A larger confirmatory study of MS health information consumers and suppliers that uses focus groups and individual interviews could be conducted to further explore these emerging themes.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Campbell, J and Shaw, SN and Mainsbridge, C and Taylor, BVM and Claflin, SB
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, massive open online course, effective communication, qualitative research methods, health promotion
Journal or Publication Title: Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Publisher: Elsevier Science Bv
ISSN: 2211-0348
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.msard.2021.103473
Copyright Information:

© 2021 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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