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Supported Team Uses Film to Improve Understanding of MS in Hispanic/Latinx People Living with this Disease

May 5, 2021

Viewing a short informative film featuring Hispanic/Latinx with MS improved perceptions of MS and its treatment in a study of 236 Hispanic/Latinx people with the disease. Plans are underway to make this film accessible to others.
  • Hispanics/Latinx people face a number of potential roadblocks to quality care. These may include language barriers for Spanish speakers, cultural differences that can lead to serious misunderstandings and, for undocumented immigrants, a fear of being deported if they seek medical help, as well as reduced access to programs that provide low-cost MRIs or medications.
  • This study, supported in part by the National MS Society, was conducted to confirm the benefits of using a film developed by researchers and directed by Melanie D'Andrea at the University of Southern California to improve understanding and perceptions of MS. “Dentro De Mi” is a 13-minute film that features Hispanics/Latinx people who have MS and live in the United States. The film is grounded in cognitive behavioral theory and raises awareness of healthy behaviors.
  • Researchers showed the film to 130 people with MS, and did not show it to 106 people with MS. Both groups were administered illness perception questionnaires at entry to the study and after three months, and focus groups were conducted after six months.
  • At three months, those exposed to the film had a significant positive change in perception of treatment effectiveness and understanding of MS. Positive attitudes related to MS prognosis, family support, and overall awareness of MS persisted through the focus groups.
  • Read more about MS in people of color.
  • Participate in studies of Hispanic/Latinx people with MS.
  • Effectiveness of film as a health communication tool to improve perceptions and attitudes in multiple sclerosis” by Horacio Chiong-Rivero, MD, PhD (University of Texas Southwestern)  Lilyana Amezcua, MD (University of Southern California) is published in MS Journal—Experimental, Translational and Clinical (2021;7(1):1).

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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