Predictors of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency procedure use among older people with multiple sclerosis: a national case–control study

Ploughman, Michelle and Manning, Olivia J. and Beaulieu, Serge and Harris, Chelsea and Hogan, Stephen and Mayo, Nancy and Fisk, John D. and Sadovnick, A. Dessa and O'Connor, Paul and Morrow, Sarah A. and Metz, Luanne M. and Smyth, Penelope and Allerdice, Penelope W. and Scott, Susan and Marrie, Ruth Anne and Stefanelli, Mark and Godwin, Marshall (2015) Predictors of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency procedure use among older people with multiple sclerosis: a national case–control study. BMC Health Services Research, 15 (161). ISSN 1472-6963

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Background Following the initial reports of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) and the purported curative potential of venoplasty, (coined the ‘liberation’ procedure) Canadians living with multiple sclerosis (MS) began to travel abroad to receive the unregulated procedure, often placing them at odds with their health providers. The purpose of this study was to determine the factors influencing older MS patients’ decision to undergo the procedure in order to develop more specific and targeted health information. Methods We performed secondary analysis of data collected as part of the ‘Canadian Survey of Health Lifestyle and Aging with MS’ from people over the age of 55 years with MS symptoms for 20 or more years. The survey consisted of self-reported information on impairments, disability, participation, demographics, personal and environmental factors. In order to compare respondents who underwent the procedure to those who did not and to develop a predictive model, we created a comparison group using a case–control algorithm, controlling for age, gender and education, and matching procedure cases to controls 1:3. We used multivariate stepwise least likelihood regression of ‘a priori’ variables to determine predictive factors. Results The prevalence of the ‘liberation’ procedure in our sample was 12.8% (95/743), substantially lower than reported in previous studies of complementary/alternative treatments in MS. The predictive model contained five factors; living alone (Odds ratio 0.24, 95%CI 0.09-0.63), diagnosis of anxiety (Odds ratio 0.29, 95%CI 0.10 - 0.84), rating of neurologist’s helpfulness (Odds ratio 0.56, 95%CI 0.44 -0 .71), Body Mass Index (Odds ratio 0.93, 95%CI, 0.89 - 0.98) and perceived physical impact of MS (Odds ratio 1.02, 95%CI 1.01 - 1.04). Conclusions Predictive factors differed from previous studies of complementary/alternative treatment use likely due to both the invasiveness of the procedure and the advanced age of our study cohort. Our findings suggest that health professionals should target information on the risks and benefits of unregulated procedures to those patients who feel dissatisfied with their neurologist and they should include family members in discussions since they may be providing the logistical support to travel abroad and undergo the ‘liberation’ procedure. Our findings may be applicable to others with chronic disabling conditions who contemplate the user-pay unregulated invasive procedures available to them.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 11831
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, CCSVI, Liberation, Zamboni, Alternative therapies, Controversy, Patient autonomy, Health decision-making
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 16 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
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