This cross-sectional study has investigated the diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) in the Campania Region (Italy). A survey involving all the reference centers for MS in Campania Region was conducted from March to August 2011. Centers responded to a web-administered questionnaire on management and clinical characteristics of MS patients. In the study period, 3263 patients (mean age 37 years, 66 % females) accessed the centers. Patients received a first diagnosis of MS in 161 cases (4.9 %). About 37 % of the subjects without a previous diagnosis came to the centers on their own initiative. All patients underwent a complete neurological examination and expanded disability status scale. The other most common investigations were magnetic resonance imaging (44.0 %) and evoked potentials (22.1 %). The number of treated patients was 2797 (87.1 %). The most used drugs were interferon β and glatiramer acetate. The time between diagnosis and initiation of therapy exceeded 6 months in 32 % of cases. Second-line drugs were under-used: 16 % of patients who might benefit from them show high clinical and radiological disease activity despite treatment with immunomodulant drugs. The MS care management of the surveyed centers showed consistent margins for improvement in 2011. Even though these data do not represent the current situation, they can be used to monitor improvements in MS care.
- Disease management
- Health services needs and demand
- Multiple sclerosis