Miguel Ángel Robles awarded by the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses

The VHIR and CEMCAT nurse has been recognized for his leadership of the Catalonia Expert Patient program in this disease.


Miguel Ángel Robles, care and research nurse at the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia (Cemcat) of the Vall d'Hebron Barcelona Hospital Campus and member of the Multidisciplinary Nursing Research Group and the Clinical Neuroimmunology Research Group of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), has received the international Nightingale Award given by the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses (IOMSN). Each year this organization recognizes ten professionals from around the world who lead projects to improve the lives of patients.

The organization has recognized the efforts of Miguel Ángel Robles for having led the pilot trials and the territorial implementation of the Catalonia Expert Patient Program in Multiple Sclerosis. This program seeks to empower patients through peer-to-peer cooperation based on the principle that no one knows the disease and the best way to cope with it as well as the people who suffer from it. The dynamics is simple: groups of about ten people with the same health problem are formed and meet weekly with a leader for nine weeks, with a post-intervention follow-up at six and twelve months. The distinguishing feature is that the leader of these groups is an expert patient, and the health professionals act only as observers, intervening only in exceptional cases. The patient who leads the group is chosen from among the patients by the health professionals through a selection process that includes a questionnaire and an interview. Once chosen and throughout the process, they receive training, advice, and support from the healthcare team to develop their role.

In total, twelve groups of patients from seven different units have been created, six with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) and six with progressive MS, under the leadership of Vall d'Hebron and the Department of Health. The aim is to extend the initiative in the future to all hospitals in Catalonia that treat this pathology, which affects more than 50,000 people throughout Spain. The project has received funding from the Official College of Nurses of Barcelona.

Miguel Ángel Robles is a strong advocate of the need to involve the patient in their own cure and has already participated in the development of the contents of the Shared Decisions in Multiple Sclerosis Project and the decision support tool, both available on the Health Channel of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

The IOMNS is the first and only international organization dedicated exclusively to the needs and purposes of nurses who care for patients with multiple sclerosis. Founded in 1997, each year it recognizes 10 professionals from around the world for their dedication to improving the lives of multiple sclerosis patients. The awarded projects represent all continents.

Each year this organization recognizes ten professionals from around the world

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