Health and Medicine

Online course set to improve lives of people living with multiple sclerosis

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A unique online course launched will empower people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their carers, families, health professionals and service providers by delivering the latest and most accurate information on risks, symptom management and treatment, free of charge.

The Understanding MS Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research, MS Limited and the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. It is believed to be the first course of its kind.

The course is designed for people living with MS, their carers and support networks, and healthcare providers as well as anyone with an interest in learning about the disease. Information on risks, symptom management, interventions and lived experience are given through a series of videos presented by academics, nurses and allied health professionals, and people living with MS.

Professor Alison Venn, Director of Menzies, said that an important function of the MOOC was ensuring that knowledge shared about MS is evidence-based and up to date with current research.

”In addition to this, a short assessment at the end of each chapter allows participants to track what they have learned along the way, and a certificate is available once the course has been completed,” Professor Venn said.

Mr John Blewonski, CEO of MS Limited, was pleased about the MOOC’s focus on educating the MS community about the disease.

“The MOOC project team have been working extensively with people living with MS and experts in their field around the country who have generously given their time to be filmed to share their knowledge.”

There has already been strong initial interest with more than 3,000 people enrolled from more than 70 countries.

The MOOC is part of the Menzies MS Flagship Program, which recently gained $10 million in federal government funding for its collaborative research working with the wider MS community, nationally and internationally, towards better prevention, treatment and ultimately a cure for the disease. It builds on the successful dementia MOOCs run by Wicking over the past six years.

Source: UTAS

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