Access, delivery and perceived efficacy of physiotherapy and use of complementary and alternative therapies by people with progressive multiple sclerosis in the United Kingdom: an online survey

Evan Campbell, Elaine Coulter, Paul Mattison, Angus McFadyen, Linda Miller, Lorna Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Introduction
All people with progressive MS in the United Kingdom should have access to physiotherapy through the National Health Service (NHS). However levels of access and delivery are unknown. Furthermore there is no research on perceived efficacy of physiotherapy or the use of complementary and alternative medicine in people with progressive MS in the United Kingdom.
Methods
An online survey was carried out via the UK MS Register. Inclusion criteria were diagnosis of progressive MS, a member of UK MS Register and 18 years or older. The survey asked participants regarding access and delivery of physiotherapy; perceived efficacy of physiotherapy and interventions received; barriers to accessing physiotherapy and use of complementary and alternative medicine. The following additional data were supplied from the UK MS Register: demographics, EQ5D, MSIS-29 physical and psychological sub-scales and geographical data.
Results
Total number of respondents was 1,298 from an identified 2,538 potential registrants: 87% could access physiotherapy services, 77% received physiotherapy from the NHS and 32% were currently receiving physiotherapy. The most common interventions received were home exercise programme (86%), exercises with a physiotherapist (74%) and advice/education (67%). 40% had recently used complementary and alternative medicine.
Perceived efficacy of physiotherapy was high with 70% reporting it to be either ‘beneficial’ or ‘very beneficial’. Main barriers to accessing physiotherapy were mobility, fatigue, continence, transport issues, requiring someone to go with them and pain.
Discussion
Access to physiotherapy was high with most people reporting it as beneficial. However 13% reported not having access indicating a gap in accessibility. Considering some of the barriers reported may allow physiotherapy services to address this gap in accessibility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Volume12
Early online date16 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Keywords

  • multiple sclerosis
  • physiotherapy
  • survey methodology
  • alternative medicines

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