The professor and chair of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University discussed a study conducted among neurologists that revealed healthcare disparities in the treatment of myasthenia gravis, particularly related to access to care and therapeutics. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 5 minutes
"At the end of the day, I think the data were a bit discouraging, but we know where we are, we think we know where we are. There are certainly opportunities to use this as a foundation to better explore individual drivers and I think, to get to the patients and understand their perspective."
In the care of patients with generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG), social determinants of health (SDOH) can play an impact on health outcomes. A new survey of neurologists in the United States highlighted inequalities to treatment access among patients with gMG who faced SDOH challenges. Above all, the data points to critical challenges with the costs of treatment, transportation, and in-home infusions, as well as the need to improve awareness and patient advocacy.1
These findings were presented at the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) meeting, held November 1-4, in Phoenix, Arizona, by senior author A. Gordon Smith, MD, FAAN, professor and chair of neurology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and colleagues. The online survey, sent out to neurologists by email, was constructed of 42 items on topics of healthcare access. The items in the survey centered on demographics, diagnosis, treatment, and continuity of care in patients with gMG who were considered to be experiencing SDOH challenges.
At the meeting, Smith, who also serves as the Kenneth and Dianne Wright Distinguished Chair in clinical and translational research at VCU, sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to discuss the major drivers of healthcare disparities in the treatment of MG identified in the survey. He talked about how the study revealed the impact of social determinants of health on patients' ability to access appointments and therapeutics for MG. In addition, Smith spoke about the potential solutions that were suggested by neurologists to address these disparities in MG care.