Barbara Severson
Bobbie (Barbara) J. Severson

Bobbie (Barbara) J. Severson

Bobbie (Barbara) J. Severson
Specialty

Multiple Sclerosis

Clinical Interests / Special Procedures Performed

Neurology

  • Accepting Children: No
  • Accepting New Patients: No
  • Accepting Medicare: No
  • Accepting Medicaid/DSHS: No
Insurance Accepted:

Contact this office for accepted insurance plans.

Additional Information:

Former United States Air Force Reserve Officer and Aeromedical Flight Nurse.

Medical School

Seattle Pacific University, WA

Board Certifications

American Nurses Credentialing Center: Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner. Multiple Sclerosis International Certification Board: Multiple Sclerosis Certified Nurse

Additional Information:

Former United States Air Force Reserve Officer and Aeromedical Flight Nurse.

Dealing with MS is different for men

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) care for men and women--is it a surprise that their MS health care support needs may differ?  As with many things in life, one should not assume that everyone has the same needs regardless of gender.  The prevalence of MS affects women about 3 times more often than men. And much of what we know, from social support research in MS, has been done with a predominantly female population.  The reality is that men and women do have different needs.  For example, evidence suggests men spend less time focused on their health and participate in fewer health prevention activities (poorer nutrition, higher alcohol and tobacco use) than women. Men also differ than women in how they experience MS and the type of support/interventions required to address their needs. An article from International Journal of MS Care (What Are the Support Needs of Men with MS, and Are They Being Met? ) by Dominic Upton, PhD and Charlotte Taylor, MSc, addresses this subject and more.

One of the aims of the article was to identify support needs of men with MS and evaluate whether these needs were being met by current services. (My conclusion, probably not.)

The article  ...

Fall Prevention Program for Multiple Sclerosis

Falls happen.  Fall incidence can increase with disability.  Falls in multiple sclerosis (MS) are common and often occur due to motor weakness, imbalance, gait impairment, and not using the adaptive equipment (cane, walker, orthotic) designed to help one ambulate more effectively and safely.

Falls can result in injury. This injury might only be an embarrassment to one’s pride; however, at other times, falls can contribute to more serious problems such as a fractured hip, a head injury, and in the worst case scenario, death.  It is therefore important that we take a proactive approach to fall prevention.

The International Multiple Sclerosis Falls Prevention Research Network has examined the roles of various fall prevention rehabilitation programs to learn which might be the most effective in reducing fall risk and falls (click here to read the research).  A critical element, in all programs, is that participant improvement in fall risk and fall reduction is primarily achieved  in the short term but not sustained over the long term.  The reality is that most people's motivation, to continue a program, dramatically "falls off" over time.

Here's a summary of the different types of program settings:

Getting the most out of your appointment

I was recently asked if I could provide advice on how patients could get the most out of their Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center visits.  In reality, I think most of us have been patients at least once in our lives. The list of tips I provide is comprehensive. However, critical information may be missing.  If you notice omissions, please respond with your own advice in the comments since we can all learn from each other.
 
One of the most important MS life survival lessons is that we are all part of the same team. As a member of that team, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge and skills to live your life to the fullest. This starts with the MS Center visit. Where you go with the information, is all part of our journey together:

5th Annual Multiple Sclerosis Center Art Show 2014

The Swedish Multiple Sclerosis Center is hosting the 5th annual MS Center Art Show on August 9 & 10 from 10 am to 6 pm at the Seattle Center Armory.  The event is free and open to the public.  Please join us for this yearly celebration of art that is created by people living with MS and all others affected by this disease.
 
Art frees the spirit even when MS tries to limit it. The MS Center at Swedish hopes to acknowledge the lives and talents of everyone affected by MS.  The Art Show will feature over 80 pieces of art including painting, photography, sculpture, jewelry, and more. 
 
The purpose of the annual Swedish MS Center Art Show is to:

Special team of volunteers at Swedish MS Center

 
On Thursday, April 10, 2014, Swedish hosted a Volunteer Appreciation Celebration dinner and awards ceremony at the Seattle Tennis Club.  The event was to acknowledge and give thanks to all the volunteers who generously donate their time, and energy, to making Swedish a people friendly place.  The event was attended by more than 220 Swedish volunteers.
 
Our very own Swedish MS Center registered nurse Kim Lozano, and Certified Pet Therapy Volunteer Kathy Knox, and her Certified Therapy Dog Ocho (yellow Labrador retriever) were honored as Swedish’s “Featured Volunteer Program: The Leo Project.”  Kim created The Leo Project, better known as the Leo Pet Therapy Program to enhance the services we offer our MS Center patients and their families.  The name “Leo” was selected to pay tribute to Kim’s beloved dog Leo who passed away at the age of 13. 
 
Kathy Knox and therapy dog Ocho deliver comfort and care to all people who pass through our MS Center’s walls.  Ocho ...

Physical fitness associated with improved cognition in multiple sclerosis

The benefits of exercise and being physically fit is what many people strive for.  However, a recent study added a new dimension to what exercise can do to enhance health.  In other words, exercise did more than keep a body fit.  It also made study participants think better.  You may ask, why is this new information important?  

 
Cognitive impairment is one of multiple scleroris (MS) ’s most disabling features and it can affect between 22% to 60% of people living with the disease.  Cognitive deficits may include problems with: slower information processing speed; memory impairment; difficulty with new learning and executive functioning.  Historically, medical and rehabilitation approaches to the problem have been inconsistent in improving cognition.
 
The new frontier of exercise for improved cognition provides hope. This study’s objective was to determine if there was an association between improvements in objective measures of physical fitness and performance on cognitive tests.
 
Participants were people with MS who participated in a telephone based health promotion intervention, chose to work on exercise, and who completed pre and post intervention assessments. Participants were then measured for strength, aerobic fitness, and cognition at baseline and 12 weeks later.
 
After controlling for variables such as age, gender, MS disease activity, MS type, etc. there was evidence suggesting that cognitive functioning changed over time based on level of fitness. Participants in the physically improved group showed improved performance on measures of executive functioning after 12 weeks of exercise.  The results of this study add support to the hypothesis that change in fitness is associated with improved executive functioning in people with MS. The desired outcomes are that improved cognition correlates with better quality of life, activities of daily living, vocational endeavors, and rehabilitation measures.
 
Where do we go from here? Since less is known about exercise training and cognition in MS (compared to studies demonstrating aerobic and strength training significantly improving cognitive functioning in older adults and people with mild cognitive impairment), we need more studies to examine this relationship in the MS population. 

Service animals help support people with MS

On October 21, 2013 the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Neuroscience Institute hosted a meet and greet with Buddy Hayes, national speaker for Canine Companions for Independence.  Buddy, as she prefers to be called, is a military veteran and the owner of Stanford, a handsome Labrador Retriever service dog given to her by Canine Companions for Independence.

Canine Companions for Independence is the largest national nonprofit organization provider of assistance dogs in the United States.  Canine Companions proudly provides assistance dogs to people in need completely free of charge.  They use hundreds of volunteers around the country and an expert team of professionals to deliver a service that allows people to continue living active and independent lives with the help of a professionally trained dog.

Stanford has been taught to make Buddy’s life easier and safer.  For example, Stanford can help open doors, turn lights on/off, pick up dropped items, and pull her lightweight wheelchair if needed.  One of the very practical lessons a dog is taught is to go to the bathroom on verbal command.  To obtain a service dog, one must ...

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Multiple Sclerosis Center
1600 East Jefferson
A Level
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-320-2200
Fax: 206-320-2560
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