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Profile of Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Across Continuum of Care

  • Vahe Kehyayan (a1) (a2), Lawrence Korngut (a3) (a4), Nathalie Jetté (a3) (a4) and John P. Hirdes (a1)

Abstract

Objective:

This study describes the socio-demographic and clinical profile of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in home care, nursing homes and complex continuing care settings in several Canadian jurisdictions.

Methods:

A cross-sectional study was conducted using available Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI 2.0 and RAI Home Care) national databases from 1996- 2011. The profile of ALS patients was compared with patients without pre-specified neurological conditions.

Results:

There were 2,092 ALS patients identified in these settings. Persons with ALS were more likely than those in the comparison group to suffer from health instability (25.4%) and minor to major depressive symptoms (27.2%) , to experience falls (44.0%) and weight loss (22.9%), to require extensive assistance in activities of daily living (54.9%), and to receive rehabilitation services: physical (23.9%), speech language pathology (8.9%), and occupational therapy 43.3%).

Conclusions:

The ALS population in this study are greatly affected by a number of health issues. They are more likely than the comparison group to require therapies, medical interventions, and psychotropic drug use. While persons with ALS have a poor prognosis, a great deal could be done to enhance their quality of life and the quality of care they receive.

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Copyright

References

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Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
  • ISSN: 0317-1671
  • EISSN: 2057-0155
  • URL: /core/journals/canadian-journal-of-neurological-sciences
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