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Assessment of Cognitive and Psychological Symptoms in People with MS: A Whole Health Approach

Co-Chair: Terry Lee-Wilk, PhD (VA Maryland Health Care System)Co-Chair: Moira Dux, PhD (VA Maryland Health Care System)

Multiple Sclerosis is a complex chronic disease that affects neurologic, psychological, and cognitive functions. Cognitive and mood symptoms are present in more than half of people with MS and commonly emerge early in the disease course. However, these symptoms often remain undiagnosed or sub-optimally treated, despite having been shown to negatively impact daily function and quality of life. MS is a heterogeneous disease and each individual’s presentation is unique and may be impacted by sociocultural factors and comorbidities. Understanding the context in which the disease occurs is critical in promoting assessment approaches that encompass diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. The goal of this presentation is to provide practical guidelines for MS providers (e.g., psychologists, social workers, neurologists, nurses, speech-language pathologists, etc.) regarding the detection and assessment of cognitive and psychological symptoms in people with MS. Holistic approaches to assessment that incorporate an individual’s values, identities, goals, and care communities will be highlighted. Understanding the factors that underlie cognitive and psychological symptoms and their impact on an individual’s daily function is critical for tailored symptom management and effective intervention. The specific objectives of this presentation are to a) define the scope of cognitive and psychological symptoms in people with MS; b) describe approaches for assessing cognitive and psychological symptoms within a culturally responsive, VA Whole Health framework; c) highlight various VA and community resources and discuss how they can be incorporated into person-centered care. Level of information: Intermediate

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Mental Health | Symposium




AAPA: 2.75
ACPE: 2.75
APA: 2.75
AOTA: 2.75
ASWB: 2.75
CME: 2.75
NCPD: 2.75
RD: 2.75