Satisfaction With Mental Health Care Among People With Multiple Sclerosis in Urban and Rural Areas

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Abstract

Objectives

This study explored urban and rural differences in mental health needs and treatments among people with multiple sclerosis, as well as their satisfaction with access to and quality of mental health care.

Methods

Data were collected in a nationwide survey of 1,518 people with multiple sclerosis.

Results

More than 40 percent of people with multiple sclerosis in each urban or rural area had received a diagnosis of depression, and more than 90 percent of them received mental health services, regardless of location of residence. However, rural residents were significantly less likely than their urban counterparts to receive the recommended combined medication and psychotherapy for treatment of depression.

Conclusions

Current mental health care systems, even in rural areas, are capable of reaching out to patients with neuromedical illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis. Patients perceive some limitations in quality and accessibility, and recommended treatment differs between urban and rural areas.

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