Multidisciplinary care improves the quality of life and survival of patients with ALS. This is assured by a study carried out at the Hospital de Bellvitge de L’Hospitalet in which different data from almost 400 patients have been collected.
The implementation of a multidisciplinary care model has a positive and direct impact on the survival and satisfaction rates of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) .
This is confirmed by a study carried out at the Hospital Universitari de Bellvitge de L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelonès) in which different data have been collected from almost 400 ALS patients treated at the center, 54 of them treated by a general neurologist among the years 1991 and 2000, and 344 treated by the Functional Unit for Motoneuron Disease (UFMM) between 2001 and 2012.
In a statement, the hospital explained that the main variables that made possible the increase in the average survival of the patients are the timely application of respiratory assistance and gastrostomy (which allows the administration of food directly into the stomach), as well as as the duration of both processes.
Regarding satisfaction with the care at the UFMM, 92% of the patients positively valued the information received , respect for their rights as patients, coordination and treatment as good or very good.
The Bellvitge UFMM is made up of neurology professionals; Pneumology; rehabilitation and physiotherapy; nutrition and diet; psychology; occupational therapy; social work; epidemiology; nursing and palliative care. Thus, on the same day, the patient is visited consecutively with all the specialists in the unit .
For the author of the study and coordinator of the UFMM, Mónica Povedano , the experience and data of the multidisciplinary unit support a centralized model for the care of a minority disease such as ALS, as well as in others.
“The results of the study indicate that patients who live further away do not have worse survival figures or represent an added increase in health costs for the center,” he pointed out.
In this sense, the work also refutes the belief that ALS patient care involves a very high direct cost for health centers: the average of this direct cost is 5,574 euros per patient and year , according to data extracted from 425 patients attended at the Bellvitge UFMM between 2016 and 2019.