Coping difficultiesAlmost all patients included in the analysis (99.6%; mean age, 43.6 years; mean time from diagnosis, 90.9 months) had health insurance. A total of 86.9% had relapsing remitting MS, 8.3% had primary progressive, and 4.8% had secondary progressive. About 56% of patients reported decreased income following their MS diagnosis, with 37% of these patients reporting a decrease of more than 20%.
Based on COST scores, 75.6% of participants reported some degree of financial toxicity. A total of 67% of patients acknowledged using one or more coping strategies to deal with financial hardship, with 50.4% spending less on leisure activities, 40.2% withdrawing money from savings accounts, and 34.8% spending less on basic expenses.
Overall, 34.7% of patients reported nonadherence to treatment because of financial concerns. Of these patients, the most common type of nonadherence was delay in filling prescriptions, reported by 26.9% of patients. About 13% of patients did not submit to the recommended imaging tests. The most common reasons for nonadherence to care were denial of coverage by insurance in 30.1% of cases and inability to afford imaging in 21.8% of patients. Through use of the patient-reported outcomes measurement information system, below-average physical and mental HRQOL was found in 76.8% and 36.2% of patients, respectively.
Top image credit: mactrunk/Getty Images
Image credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock