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Telephone-based assessment of multiple sclerosis patients at Ain Shams University Hospital in the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

  • Abdel Hafeez, Mohamed A.1
  • Zamzam, Dina A.1
  • Swelam, Mahmoud S.1
  • Steit, Alaa Abo1
  • Masoud, Janet1
  • Nasser, Azza Abdel1
  • Hazzou, Ahmed1
  • Hamid, Eman1
  • Aref, Hany1
  • Zakaria, Magd F.1
  • Fouad, Mohamed M.1
  • 1 Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt , Cairo (Egypt)
Published Article
The Egyptian Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
May 30, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s41983-021-00316-1
Springer Nature


BackgroundAssessment of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients during the era of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic was confronted with the overwhelmed healthcare facilities in Egypt and fear of the patients to get infected while attending the follow-up visits. This study aimed to assess the value of telephone-based assessments in the follow-up of MS patients. It includes one hundred and five patients who participated in the study and completed 3 telephone-based assessments which are the Hauser Ambulation index, Multiple Sclerosis Neuropsychology Questionnaire (MSNQ), and Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis Scale (SMSS).ResultsThe Hauser Ambulation index was significantly correlated with the latest Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score done within 1 month from the telephone call (r=0.738, P<0.001). The analysis of MSNQ scores showed that one-third of the study population had evidence of cognitive and/or neuropsychological impairment. Post hoc analysis regarding the cognitive and psychological impairment component of SMSS revealed that the patients who answered “Never” had significantly lower MSNQ scores compared to those who answered “Sometimes” (P=0.016), “Often” (P=0.022), and “Always” (P=0.001). The comparison of the EDSS scores of the patients regarding the sensory-motor impairment component of SMSS showed a non-significant difference.ConclusionThe Hauser Ambulation index may be a reliable telephone-based tool for the assessment of physical disability. The MSNQ and the cognitive and psychological impairment component of SMSS can be used for the assessment of cognitive and psychological impairment among patients with MS.

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