Putting information into perspective

Now that you've found some information on MS, it's time put it into perspective. Ask yourself:

Does this information apply to me?

Whether or not the information applies to you depends on a number of factors, including the type of MS you have, how old you are, other medical conditions you may have, and the medications you are taking. If the information came from the results of a research study such as a clinical trial, then it is more likely to apply to you if you are similar to the people enrolled in the study. To find out, look at the criteria that people had to meet in order to be part of the study, and ask yourself whether you would have met these criteria. If so, then it's more likely that the study results apply to you.

What difference could this information make in my life?

If you've read about a new treatment or a lifestyle change to help with MS, it's important to know how it could affect your life. Take a look at the information you've found, and consider:

  • How can this treatment or lifestyle change affect my MS?
  • Which of my symptoms could it help with, and how much of a change could I expect to see? Would this change be meaningful to me?
  • How long would it take for me to see a benefit, and how long would the benefits last?
  • What are the risks? Would I be willing to take the risks to get the benefits?

Your doctor can help you answer these questions. Talking to your doctor can be a great way to put the information you've gathered into perspective. Here are a few other questions to ask your doctor:

  • For clinical trials and other studies:
    • What do you think of this study?
    • Is it well designed?
    • Could the results apply to me?
  • For specific medications or lifestyle changes you're considering:
    • Are there any other studies about this medication/lifestyle change? If so, are the results similar or different?
    • What benefits could I gain?
    • What are the side effects and other risks?
    • Would you recommend this option for me? Why or why not?
  • For more information on MS treatment options:
    • What are my other treatment options at this time?
    • Are any new treatment options becoming available soon?
  • For general information on MS:
    • Where can I go to get good-quality information on MS and MS research?

By talking to your doctor regularly, you can keep up to date on the latest MS information and also hone your own skills at finding and evaluating information.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Doing-Your-Own-Research