1Sharareh Eskandarieh, 1Niloofar Jahromi, 1Narges Systena, 1Mohhamed Ali Sahraian
1Multiple Sclerosis Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating non-traumatic neurological disorder in young adults and can reduce quality of life (QoL) by interfering with work ability, leisure activities, and routine living tasks (1). Various studies have shown the dissatisfaction of people with MS in different areas of care services (1-2). Regarding the patient’s dissatisfaction with care services, in this study, we sought to identify the care challenges of MS patients in Iran.
Material(s) and Method(s):
The cross-sectional study was conducted in 2016-2019 through a researcher-made questionnaire (designed by MS Specialists in MS research center).
The questionnaire examined the care challenges in four areas:
- Costs of medication, hospitalization, and rehabilitation services
- Family support, insurance system and job protection
- Access to transportation system and treatment team
- Quality of care and provided services (2-3). The participants answered the challenges based on a five-point Likert scale.
Completed questionnaires were received for 945 respondents. Prioritizing care services challenges are as follows: The cost of pharmaceutical services (49.1%), lack of telephone counseling (47.4%), uninsured home rehabilitation (44.7%), lack of qualified care centers (41.2%), rehabilitation costs (40.2%). There is a significant correlation between the level of education and challenge of medication’s cost (p-value≤0.01), transportation systems (p-value≤0.01), and lack of familial support (p-value≤0.01).
We found that patients who can’t walk at least 20 meters and Unemployed people had more problems and lower QoL. The patients who had non-academic education had more challenges with the cost of medication, transportation and lack of familial support.
This study shows Challenges of MS patients in receiving health care in Iran that vary in age, education, employment and ability to walk. As challenges mentioned above are of great importance in determining quality of life of people with MS, an appropriate solution is recommended by this study to overcome these challenges.