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The case for MS psychology services

The case for MS psychology servicesThe National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions (NSF) requires that people living with long-term conditions should have access to psychologists as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
The National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions, 2005.
Department of Health (1).
 
Any person with MS whose level of dependence or whose social behaviour cannot be easily understood in terms of other known impairments or factors should be offered a formal neuro-psychological assessment by a specialist clinical psychologist.....
NICE Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care, November 2003 (2)

The case for MS psychology services

The case for MS psychology services There is a very strong case for psychology services because depression is common in people with MS, with up to 50% thought to experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime (3). This is often misdiagnosed, missed or undertreated, resulting in reduced quality of life, increased distress and the potential for deterioration.
The case for MS psychology services Psychological support for people with MS who experience clinical depression can, among other things, help them to
  • stabilise daily routines
  • maintain relationships
  • remain in work
The case for MS psychology services MS-related depression and emotional difficulties need to be addressed promptly; the frequency of suicide attempts by people with MS is approximately seven times higher than for the general population.
The case for MS psychology services Because depression is often misunderstood, and because a diagnosis may not be sought by those affected, symptoms can can go untreated at great personal, family and wider cost. It is important, therfore, for healthcare providers to ensure awareness of and access to psychological support services.
The case for MS psychology services The NICE guidelines for MS (2003) and the Goldman Consensus Group (2005) suggest treatment of depression with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and/or medication, with a combination of both being preferential (Goldman group, 2005).

If you would like to discuss support available from the MS Society please visit the contact page to get in touch with a local service development officer.

Further information  
(1) The National Service Framework for Long-term Conditions, 2005.
Department of Health.
Download here
(2) NICE Management of multiple sclerosis in primary and secondary care, November 2003
Download here
(3) Depression and multiple sclerosis. Sadovnvick et al. [Journal Article], Neurology 1996 Mar; 46(3):628-32.
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