The SWIMS project

The South West Impact of Multiple Sclerosis (SWIMS) project is a longitudinal study following around 1,600 people with multiple sclerosis (MS) or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) in Devon and Cornwall, providing new information about how MS changes over time.

The project began in Plymouth in 2004, with funding from the Peninsula Medical School Foundation and between 2008 and 2017 the MS Society kindly funded the continuation of SWIMS.

The SWIMS project collects information on how multiple sclerosis (MS) and clinically isolated syndromes (CIS) affect people over the course of time.

The information is collected directly from people with MS or CIS, or from a carer, using specially designed questionnaire booklets (postal or online). We ask about a wide range of health related matters, allowing us to build a unique resource of peoples' experiences of MS. This resource is useful in many ways:

  • It helps us understand the impact of MS and CIS from the point of view of the people affected.
  • We want to find better ways of measuring change in a person's condition over time. Good measurement tools can help to make clinical trials of new treatments shorter, less expensive and more effective.
  • We plan to develop a method to predict the future impact of MS and CIS for any given individual.

Management

Professor Jeremy Hobart is the Chief Investigator of the study. The SWIMS project team, who are responsible for the day-to-day running of the project, are based at the University of Plymouth Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in Plymouth, Devon. The University of Plymouth owns the data contributed by participants for the SWIMS project.

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