I study things that we can do right now to improve the lives of people living with multiple sclerosis (MS). My research focuses on two main areas: health education and access to healthcare and support services. I explore how health education can improve a person’s knowledge about MS and therefore improve their ability to manage it or support someone managing it. I also study the factors that affect a person with MS’s ability to access the healthcare and support services they need. These include social support, self-belief, remoteness (whether or not they live near facilities like hospitals) and national-level policy on subsidising health care costs (e.g., providing government assistance for the costs of the treatments available for MS, which are very expensive).
I also study how these two research areas affect each other. I am interested in how health education can help people navigate the healthcare system by giving them the information they need to feel empowered, ask questions, and share in decision-making with healthcare providers.
My research gives us information on the actions that we can take right now to improve the lives of people with MS by increasing their access to information and resources.