Participation in multiple sclerosis wellness programs and services.

TitleParticipation in multiple sclerosis wellness programs and services.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsJohnson KL, Weir VG, Verrall A, Amtmann D
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care
Management of activities of daily living in MS, Quality of Life in MS, Service delivery in MS

Background: Education, support, and wellness programs offered through consumer organizations encourage healthy behaviors in adults with multiple sclerosis (MS). This study identified characteristics associated with not participating in services using Anderson’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Use. The model recognizes three primary categories of influence: predisposing (individual), enabling (social environment), and need factors (health status). Objectives: To predict characteristics of National Multiple Sclerosis Society members who do not use services. Methods: As part of a needs assessment of members of the Greater Northwest Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, a structured phone interview of community-dwelling adults with MS (N = 440) residing in Alaska, Montana, and Washington was conducted. Participants were recruited from the membership list of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Results: 59.3% of people with MS reported not having attended any MS programs or service in the last 2 years; however, 81.5% of these individuals indicated that they would like to participate in events. A logistic regression model was used to investigate characteristics predicting people who did not use services in the last 2 years among those wanting to attend events. Age (odds ratio [OR], 1.03; confidence interval [CI], 1.00-1.06), having a high school education or less (OR, 2.65; CI, 1.23-5.72), receiving Medicaid (OR, 4.41; CI, 1.17-16.6), receiving both Medicare and Medicaid (OR, 5.07; CI, 1.39-18.42), using accessible transportation as a primary means of transportation (OR, 5.21; CI, 1.03- 26.50), having an income of less than $25K annually (OR, 0.47; CI, 0.23-0.99), and having a higher PROMIS sleep disturbance score (OR, 1.03; CI, 1.00-1.07) were all statistically significantly (P < .05) associated with not attending an event in the last 2 years. Conclusions: Organizations focused on increasing health and wellness of people with MS should design future strategies to encourage participation by groups who would like to seek help but have not, such as older adults and those with lower educational attainment. Participants who utilize accessible transportation were also less likely to access services, indicating transportation as a significant barrier.

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