Research by Shannon Gaughan, MS Advanced Nurse Practitioner, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

This project was awarded the runner up of the MS Academy MasterClass Project Award for Autumn 2020

All of our attendees carry out a piece of research in an area of MS clinical practice or treatment that interests them. 

This snapshot, which was a runner up in the MS9 project awards, gives you a quick idea of what they found and why. If you want to learn more, just click through to the full poster, or follow the links within the snapshot. 

If you would like to contact the alumni who did the research, drop us a line and we’ll put you in touch where possible.

Poster

Gaughan-poster-project-MS9.2-Nov-2020

Gaughan-writeup-project-MS9.2-Nov-2020

Aim

To improve the care of people with MS through improving the consistency of management of vitamin D levels in MS patients.

Regarding vitamin D levels in MS, further objectives were to:

  • establish guidance for HCPs and people with MS on testing and treatment 
  • reduce variance in practice and ensure consistent practice 
  • ensure consistent advice to people with MS regarding supplementation

Headlines 

  • There is a lack of clear or consistent guidance around vitamin D levels in MS both locally and nationally.
  • No national guidance exists and published studies vary greatly in their recommendations over testing, management and optimal vitamin D levels, which varies again from NICE guidance.

Key findings

  • The pilot study assessed 50 newly diagnosed patients and found significant variation in testing and management practices.
  • A literature review found little consensus in testing and management practices or in optimal levels of vitamin D.
    • NICE guidance on vitamin D levels for the general population suggest significantly lower levels than those suggested in academic papers on vitamin D levels in people with MS.
    • Published guidance has no consensus on optimal vitamin D levels for people with MS.
  • Anecdotal reports suggest people with MS are often left feeling uncertain about the use of vitamin D supplements for their MS.

Recommendations 

  • To carry out a UK-wide survey of practice across all UK disease-modifying therapy (DMT) prescribing centres.
  • To develop consensus guidance on optimal testing, management and supplementation of vitamin D in people with MS.

Take action

  • Get in touch to be part of the survey on practice around vitamin D in MS.
  • Contact the researcher to discuss their work (please put the name of the Snapshot as your title in our contact form)