Objective: To present gender comparisons of residents with multiple sclerosis (MS) at admission to nursing facilities, including demographic characteristics, health measures, and treatments.
Methods: We analyzed 13,998 admission assessments in the Minimum Data Set for residents with MS recorded between June 23, 1998 and December 31, 2000.
p. Results: Although both male and female residents with MS tended to have severe disability, there were significant gender differences in measures of activities of daily living (ADL) dependency and disability, with males slightly more likely to exhibit total ADL dependence and greater loss of voluntary movement. Females with MS tended to have significantly better cognitive performance and better communication abilities than males with MS. There were significant gender differences in pain symptoms among residents, with one-third of females and one-fifth of males experiencing daily pain. Depression was the most common comorbidity among residents with MS, with females significantly more likely to have this diagnosis. Although females with MS were slightly more likely to have depression or anxiety disorder, males with MS were slightly more likely to receive mental health services.
Conclusion: These analyses demonstrate that many nursing facilities need to improve pain management and mental health care provided to residents with MS, especially to females.