Adults with cognitive impairment more likely to have worse experiences with health care system, study shows

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People with cognitive disabilities such as autism, attention deficit and memory loss are less satisfied with health care than the general population, according to a study published by Rutgers University researchers.

The study was published in Journal of Disability and Healthexamined how a national sample of adults experience the care they receive and the factors that influence their experience.

“Compared with people without cognitive impairment, people with cognitive impairment are less likely to report that providers listen to them carefully, explain things or provide advice in an understandable way, spend enough time with them, or Show respect for what they have to do. said,” said Elizabeth Stone, a faculty member in the Center for Health Services Research at the Institute for Health, Healthcare Policy and Aging at Rutgers University and a principal investigator on the study. author.

Past research has shown that people with cognitive disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome face barriers to accessing quality health care. So far, research has focused on the type of care people receive or providers’ perspectives, rather than on the experiences of people with cognitive impairment themselves.

Using a national sample of more than 22,000 adults, including those with and without cognitive impairment, the researchers analyzed patient-reported experiences with health care services and compared experiences between those with and without disabilities Satisfaction.

Researchers found that people with cognitive impairment were significantly less satisfied overall with health care services than the general population. Those with cognitive impairment also reported worse health care experiences.

Poor patient-provider communication may lead to adverse patient outcomes, suggesting the need for providers to improve their ability to communicate with patients with disabilities.

“Addressing this issue may include integrating disability capabilities into medical education and should also include policies, such as increased reimbursement, that reflect the increased time and effort that may be needed to ensure that the needs of patients with disabilities are met,” said Stone, a Rutgers Robert Wood expert. Instructor of Psychiatry, Johnson Medical School.

Beyond the need for structural and policy changes, patients as a whole have a role to play. Researchers say patients should be proactive in preparing for health care appointments and seeking accommodations that may improve their experience.

The researchers say future research in this area should examine how the experience of health care differs with different cognitive impairments, as well as other disabilities and identities.

More information:
Elizabeth M. Stone et al., Health Care Services Experiences of People with Cognitive Impairments and Mental Health Conditions, Journal of Disability and Health (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.dhjo.2023.101547

Offered by Rutgers University

citation: Adults with cognitive impairment more likely to have worse experiences with health care system: Study (2023, December 12) Retrieved December 12, 2023, from https://medicalxpress.com/ news /2023-12-adults-cognitive-disability-worse-health.html

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