Patient adherence to and tolerability of self-administered interferon β-1a using an electronic autoinjection device: a multicentre, open-label, phase IV study
1 Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, University "G. d'Annunzio", Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy
2 Multiple Sclerosis Regional Center, Azienda Ospedaliera "Antonio Cardarelli", Via Antonio Cardarelli 9, 80131 Naples, Italy
3 Department of Neurological Science, University of Naples Federico II, Via Giovanni Paladino 39, 80138 Naples, Italy
4 Department of Neurology, Azienda Ospedaliera Ospedali Riuniti Villa Sofia-Cervello, Via Ninni Cassarà, 90146 Palermo, Italy
5 Department of Neurology, Istituto Mediterraneo di Neuroscienze, NEUROMED, Via Atinense 18, 86077 Pozzilli, IS, Italy
6 Division of Neurology, Department of Clinical and Biological Science, University of Turin, Via Giuseppe Verdi 8, 10124 Turin, Italy
7 Department of Neuroscience, University of Rome "Tor Vergata", Via Montpellier 1, 00133 Rome, Italy
8 Department of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Genetics, University of Genoa, Via De Toni 5, 16132 Genoa, Italy
9 CEIS Sanità (CHEM-Centre for Health Economics and Management), Faculty of Economics, University of Tor Vergata, Via Columbia 2, 00133 Rome, Italy
10 Merck Serono S.p.A., Via Casilina 125, 00176 Rome, Italy
11 Department of Neuroscience and Imaging, University G. d'Annunzio, c/o Centro Sclerosi Multipla, Ospedale Clinicizzato "SS Annunziata", Via dei Vestini 31, 66100 Chieti, Italy
BMC Neurology 2012, 12:7 doi:10.1186/1471-2377-12-7Published: 5 March 2012
Achieving good adherence to self-injected treatments for multiple sclerosis can be difficult. Injection devices may help to overcome some of the injection-related barriers to adherence that can be experienced by patients. We sought to assess short-term adherence to, and tolerability of, interferon (IFN) β-1a administered via electronic autoinjection device in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
Overall, 88.2% (105/119; intent-to-treat population) of patients were adherent; 67.2% (80/119) administered all scheduled injections. Medical reasons accounted for 35.6% (31/87) of missed injections, forgetfulness for 20.6% (18/87). Adherence did not correlate with baseline Expanded Disability Status Scale (P = 0.821) or PASAT (P = 0.952) scores, or pre-study therapy (P = 0.303). No significant changes (baseline-Week 12) in mean HADS depression (P = 0.482) or anxiety (P = 0.156) scores were observed. 'Overall convenience' was the most important reported benefit of the autoinjection device. Device features associated with handling and ease of use were highly rated. Mean MSTCQ scores for 'flu-like' symptoms (P = 0.022) and global side effects (P = 0.002) significantly improved from Week 4-12. Mean MSTCQ scores for pain at injection site and injection pain increased from Week 4-12 (P < 0.001). Adverse events were mild/moderate. No new safety signals were identified.
Convenience and ease of use of the autoinjection device may improve adherence and, therefore, outcomes, in patients with RRMS receiving sc IFN β-1a.