Factors influencing the desire to provide MS patient care in clinical practice among physiatrists
BACKGROUND: Rehabilitation care is an important part of care for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). Little is known about factors influencing physiatrists' desire to provide MS care. OBJECTIVE: This study examines factors associated with physiatrists' attitudes towards providing MS care. METHODS: We collaborated with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation to survey a sample of 300 U.S. physiatrists. Analyses examined the association of exposure to MS care resources during residency, physician demographic and practice characteristics with attitudes toward providing MS care. RESULTS: Physiatrists indicating negative factors limiting the number of MS patients seen in clinical practice were more likely to practice in a setting other than a major city and less likely to have interacted with MS specialists during residency. Physiatrists indicating factors having a positive influence on providing MS patient care were more likely to practice within a major city, see one or more MS patients per week, and serve as the primary physiatrist directing care for one or more MS patients. CONCLUSIONS: Physiatrists indicated positive and negative attitudes towards MS care. Increasing exposure to MS patients, providing resources for MS care, and participating in continuing education on MS, may encourage physiatrists to provide MS patient care.