This study is part of the Innovations in Data, Evidence and Applications for Persons with Neurological Conditions project to understand the strengths, preferences, and needs of persons with neurological conditions living in Canada.
To estimate the prevalence and describe the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of persons with multiple sclerosis in Canadian home care, nursing home, Complex Continuing Care hospitals, and inpatient mental health care settings.
Cross-sectional study of adults aged 18 years and older with multiple sclerosis (MS; n=11,250) across Canada from 1996 through 2011 using interRAI Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) comprehensive health assessments (RAI Minimum Data Set 2.0, RAI-Home Care, RAI-Mental Health). Comparisons were made to adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (n=260,910), other neurological conditions (n=163,578) and non-neurological conditions (n=571,567).
The prevalence of MS was highest in Complex Continuing Care hospitals (4125 cases per 100,000 patients), followed by home care (2020 cases per 100,000 patients), nursing homes (1424 cases per 100,000 patients), and mental health settings (138 cases per 100,000 patients). Persons with MS experienced greater impairment in the completion of activities of daily living, pain, pressure ulcers, swallowing difficulty, depression, and anxiety compared with peers within care settings. There were also significant differences between settings, particularly the degree of physical and cognitive impairment experienced by persons with MS.
Except for mental health care settings, the prevalence of MS in community, institutional and hospital-based care settings exceeded that of the general population. These data describing the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of persons with MS may be used to inform clinical practice and policy decisions for persons with MS across the continuum of care.