Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) face a range of barriers to accessing and using health-care services. The aim of this review was to identify specific barriers to accessing and using healthcare services based on a continuum of the health-care delivery system. Methods: Literature searches were conducted in the PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Web of Science databases. The following terms were searched as subject headings, key words, or abstracts: health care, access, barriers, physical disability, and multiple sclerosis. The literature search produced 361 potentially relevant citations. After screening titles, abstracts, and citations, eight citations were selected for full-text review. Results: Health-care barriers were divided into three continuous phases of receiving health care. In the before-visit phase, the most commonly identified barrier was transportation. In the during-visit phase, communication quality was the major concern. In the after-visit phase, discontinued referral was the major barrier encountered. Conclusions: There are multiple interrelated barriers to accessing and using health-care services along the health-care delivery continuum for people with MS and its associated physical disabilities, ranging from complex and long-recognized barriers that will likely require extended advocacy to create policy changes to issues that can and should be addressed through relatively minor changes in health-care delivery practices, improved care coordination, and increased provider awareness, education, and responsiveness to patients' needs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing