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J Neurol Sci. 1998 Oct;160 Suppl 1:S141-5.

Service provision for patients with ALS/MND: a cost-effective multidisciplinary approach.

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Department Neurology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


Optimal management of patients with ALS/MND requires a team approach, with early referral to paramedical services for clinical assessment and prompt intervention. As the condition progresses, a flexible approach to management must be adopted by the medical team, with an ability to intervene at very short notice. We have developed an efficient multi-disciplinary clinic that services the ALS/MND population of Ireland by combining the existing infrastructure of community services with a hospital-based specialist clinic. The clinic operates on a weekly basis, and is staffed by a core team including a neurologist, a liaison nurse, and the director of the ALS/MND Association. On-site and same-day physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy is available, as is pulmonary evaluation. All patients utilising the clinical services are automatically included on the Irish Register of Motor Neurone Disease, and are tracked by the liaison nurse. The core members of the clinic interact regularly with paramedical staff within the community, ensuring that necessary community services are made available within 1-2 weeks of the clinic visit. Equipment necessary for the patient's well being is made available free of charge by the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, following an appropriate request from the regional para-medical staff. We have thus demonstrated that an effective multi- disciplinary care service for ALS/MND can be developed at modest cost by close personal liaison between the existing health care structures and core members of a multidisciplinary team.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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