259541 Identifying unmet needs of individuals with MS: A latent class analysis

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM

Robert Askew, MPH , UWCORR - Department of Rehabilitative Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Dagmar Amtmann, PhD , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Virginia Weir, BA , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Kurt L. Johnson, PhD , Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Introduction: The Greater Northwest Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society in collaboration with the University of Washington conducted a needs assessment to better understand member needs.

Methods: 440 participants were 69% female, 92% Caucasian, 29% employed, 81% with some college or more, 41% living in a primarily rural area, and 32% with a progressive form of MS. Participants were asked to indicate which of 15 services listed they needed and could not get. Latent class analysis was used to identify groups with differing unmet needs. Demographics and symptoms data were also collected.

Results: The four-class solution was the most substantively meaningful with adequate model fit (BIC: 5761; Entropy: 0.80). The four classes were: (1) high unmet needs for most services (20%, n=88), high symptom burden (pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression) with the lowest education and income; (2) unmet access and advocacy needs (accessible housing, transportation, home health services) (9%, n=39) with moderate symptom burden, a higher proportion of rural participants and wheelchair users; (3) unmet wellness and fitness needs (42%, n=184), moderate but slightly lower symptom burden, younger and mostly urban; (4) low unmet needs (more information about MS programs and services, help accessing services, but even those were endorsed at low levels) (29%, n= 129), lowest symptom burden, mostly urban, and better educated.

Conclusions: Each group had differing profiles of unmet needs. Care providers and MS support organizations should not assume similar unmet needs for all individuals living with MS.

Learning Areas:
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe unmet needs for individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) 2. Discuss latent class model results and compare statistical and substantive differences in competing models. 3. Discuss implications of distinct profiles of M.S. needs and the implications to policy and health services research and administration.

Keywords: Disability, Needs Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Masters in Epidemiology from the University of Texas School of Public Health and am currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology at the University of Washington (UW). As a member of the UW Center on Outcomes Research in Rehabilitation, my current research focuses on patient reported outcomes in a variety of chronic conditions. I have multiple publications related to quality of life in cancer, multiple sclerosis, and other chronic disease subpopulations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.