Changes in the management of ALS since the publication of the AAN ALS practice parameter 1999
Center for Outcomes Research
Medical Subject Headings
Academies and Institutes; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; *Databases, Factual; Disease Management; Humans; Neurology; Palliative Care; Practice Guidelines as Topic; United States
Health Services Research
OBJECTIVE: To determine if the publication in 1999 of the AAN Practice Parameter on ALS was associated with an improvement in the standard of management of the disease.
METHODS: Data on 646 patients enrolled in the ALS CARE database and on 465 patients who died in the period May 2001 to November 2002 were compared with similar data obtained from the database from 1996 to May 1999.
RESULTS: The specialty ALS clinics were the most important source of information about ALS. The internet was a source for 39%. The treatment of sialorrhea, pseudobulbar emotional lability, and failure of swallowing and breathing had all improved significantly in the period after the publication of the Practice Parameter. However many patients still did not receive a gastrostomy tube or non-invasive positive pressure ventilation when indicated by the Practice Parameter, mainly because of lack of patient compliance. Cost was the main reason why 41% of patients did not receive riluzole, though they spent a third of the cost of this medication on alternative medicines.
CONCLUSIONS: The publication of the AAN Practice Parameter was associated with improvement in the standard of care. Most cases in the database come from specialized ALS centers, and further information on the community care of ALS patients is needed.
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Citation: Amyotroph Lateral Scler Other Motor Neuron Disord. 2004 Dec;5(4):240-4.