The benefit of evolving multidisciplinary care in ALS: a diagnostic cohort survival comparison.
Martin S., Trevor-Jones E., Khan S., Shaw K., Marchment D., Kulka A., Ellis CE., Burman R., Turner MR., Carroll L., Mursaleen L., Leigh PN., Shaw CE., Pearce N., Stahl D., Al-Chalabi A.
BACKGROUND: Care for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has altered at King's College Hospital over the last 20 years. The clinic has been a multidisciplinary, specialist, tertiary referral centre since 1995 with a large team with integrated palliative and respiratory care since 2006. We hypothesised that these changes would improve survival. METHODS: In this retrospective observational study, patients diagnosed with El Escorial definite, probable and possible ALS between 1995-1998 and 2008-2011 were followed up. The primary outcome measure was a chi-square test for the proportion of each cohort surviving. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and Cox multivariate regression were secondary analyses. RESULTS: There was low reporting of some interventions. Five hundred and forty-seven people were included. Survival between the cohorts was significantly different (p = 0.022) with a higher proportion surviving during 2008-2011. Survival time was 21.6 (95% CI 19.2-24.0) months in the 2008-2011 cohort compared to 19.2 years (15.6-21.6) in the 1995-1998 cohort (log rank p = 0.018). Four hundred and ninety-three cases were included in the Cox regression. Diagnostic cohort was a significant predictor variable (HR 0.79 (0.64-0.97) p = 0.023). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis that integrated specialist clinics with multidisciplinary input improve survival in ALS.