Compliance in Rehabilitation with Multiple Sclerosis Patients

Friday, May 29, 2015
Griffin Hall
Dori Goldman, OTR/L, MSCS , MS Comprehensive Care Center, NYU Langone Health, New York, NY
Jennifer Kalina, MS, OTR/L, CCRC, MSCS , MS Comprehensive Care Center, NYU Langone, New York, NY


People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have a wide range of rehabilitative needs, including occupational therapy (OT). Despite these needs, in a population of over 2500 people attending an outpatient MS Center, compliance with attending OT treatment sessions has been shown to be problematic.  Literature on noncompliance for OT in the general population is available; however no literature could be found specifically for the MS population.


To investigate the incidence of noncompliance for outpatient OT at an urban specialty MS Comprehensive Care Center.


A database search of all scheduled OT visits at an urban MS Center was conducted over a six-month period using an electronic record software. Total number of scheduled OT visits included: those who attended their OT visit, those who canceled their visit within 3 days of their appointment, and those who did not attend their appointment without any notification (“no show”). Non-compliance rates were calculated based on the total number of cancellations and no show rates, divided by the total number of scheduled OT visits in a given month. This information was then compared to non-compliance statistics of general neurological OT visits at an urban outpatient facility.


The search revealed the following OT non-compliance rates at an MS Center: July- 33%, August-24%, September- 28%, October-33%, November-42%, December-30%. This compares to the general neurological OT non-compliance rates at a rehabilitation center: July- 19%, August- 22%, September-25%, October-18%, November-23%, and December-23%. Non-compliance rates at the MS Center are higher on average by 10%, ranging from 2% to 19% differences. Reasons for cancellations and “no shows” are currently being analyzed and will be presented in the final poster.


Compliance with OT attendance is crucial to reaching therapeutic gains. However, compliance with OT attendance in MS population has not yet been addressed in MS literature, and appears to be problematic when compared to OT in a general rehabilitation population. Additional research is necessary to determine reasons for non-compliance in order to improve treatment compliance as well as therapeutic gains.