In 2014, MSAA partnered with app developers @Point of Care to update the My MS Manager mobile app – making it a much better tool to not only help you manage day-to-day life with MS but to also help facilitate shared decision making between you and your doctor.
More than 7,000 people affected by multiple sclerosis currently use the app to record and track their specific MS disease-related information, such as daily activities, fatigue scale records, medications, and other relevant information. The app organizes this data into useful charts and reports that can easily be shared with your doctor and healthcare team.
Earlier this year, @Point of Care and MSAA surveyed users of the app to see how they were using it and if it was effective in helping manage their MS. This data was presented earlier this month at the 2016 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Center (CMSC).
Results from the survey of more than 1,300 active monthly users showed:
- 77% utilize the app daily or weekly
- 80% state the app helps them track how well they are doing
- 78% reported that regular use of the app improved their ability to discus and manage their MS
- 70% have a sense of improved well-being as a result of using the app
- 75% reported better management of their fatigue by using the app
- 73% discuss and share their app records with their doctor to improve MS management
- 86% reported they are motivated to discuss management of their MS with their doctors as a result of using the app
For more information and to download the My MS Manager app for free, please visit mymsaa.org/mobile.
Fatigue is one of the many symptoms of multiple sclerosis. It affects the majority of individuals with an MS diagnosis, and can be challenging to manage. According to Can Do MS, there are many helpful and practical things you can do to help boost your energy and improve your daily activities.
Can Do MS sponsored a webinar in October titled, “Tired of Being Tired? Tips, Tools & Techniques to Keep You Going.” This webinar can be watched on the Archived Webinar section of their website.
To summarize, Can Do MS recommends the “4 P’s” as a potential solution for managing fatigue:
- Planning: Consider using a day planner or phone app to help manage what you may have going on. This could help you track doctors’ appointments, medication regiment, meal planning and shopping trips, and ensure you do not try to do too much on any one specific day.
- Prioritizing: If you are feeling tired on a particular day, decide what is important or must get accomplished and what can be put off for another day. Do those things that need to get done and give yourself permission to push the other tasks off for a day when you have more energy.
- Pacing: This strategy will help prevent you from feeling overwhelmed when at work. If you expect a task to take an hour, don’t pressure yourself to get it done in an hour. Instead, give yourself an hour and a half and take a ten minute break for every 20 minutes of work.
- Positioning: This involves rethinking the location of physical things in your life to make your daily activities simpler and more efficient. One example of this would be placing everyday cooking utensils in a convenient, easy to reach place in the kitchen so you do not have to exert yourself every time you reach for them. Making simple adjustments may help you save some energy for use at other times throughout the day.
In addition to managing your fatigue, it might also be a good idea to track your activity to determine what is causing you the most fatigue. This better understanding of your fatigue could help you modify your activities and help you conserve energy throughout the day. MSAA’s free mobile app – My MS Manager, now has a newly added fatigue scale to help you track and measure your fatigue. The app also allows you to connect to physicians and other members of your care team via the app to securely share your progress and reports. Click here to learn more and download the free app.
By following the “4 P’s” and tracking your fatigue, you will hopefully have a better understanding of what activities affect you the most and an easy tool to you manage your daily fatigue better.