Abstract: Patients with cervical dystonia (CD) receive much of their care at university based hospital outpatient clinics. This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and treatment experiences of patients who continued care at our university based movement disorders clinic, and to document the reasons for which a subset discontinued care. Seventy patients (77% female) were recruited from all patients at the clinic (n = 323). Most (93%) were treated with botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) injection, and onabotulinumtoxinA was initially used in 97%. The average dose of onabotulinumtoxinA was 270.4 U (range 50–500) and the median number of injections was 14 (range: 1–39). Twenty one patients later received at least one cycle of rimabotulinumtoxinB (33%); of those, 10 switched back to onabotulinumtoxinA (48%). The initial rimabotulinumtoxinB dose averaged 11,996 units (range: 3000–25,000 over 1–18 injections). Twenty one patients (30%) discontinued care. Reasons cited included suboptimal response to BoNT therapy (62%), excessive cost (24%), excessive travel burden (10%), and side effects of BoNT therapy (10%). Most patients (76%) did not seek further care after leaving the clinic. Patients who terminated care received fewer treatment cycles (5.5 vs. 13.0, p = 0.020). There were no other identifiable differences between groups in gender, age, disease characteristics, toxin dose, or toxin formulation. These results indicate that a significant number of CD patients discontinue care due to addressable barriers to access, including cost and travel burden, and that when leaving specialty care, patients often discontinue treatment altogether. These data highlight the need for new initiatives to reduce out-of-pocket costs, as well as training for community physicians on neurotoxin injection in order to lessen the travel burden patients must accept in order to receive standard-of-care treatments.
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Gill, C.E.; Manus, N.D.; Pelster, M.W.; Cook, J.A.; Title, W.; Molinari, A.L.; Charles, D. Continuation of Long-Term Care for Cervical Dystonia at an Academic Movement Disorders Clinic. Toxins 2013, 5, 776-783.
Gill CE, Manus ND, Pelster MW, Cook JA, Title W, Molinari AL, Charles D. Continuation of Long-Term Care for Cervical Dystonia at an Academic Movement Disorders Clinic. Toxins. 2013; 5(4):776-783.
Gill, Chandler E.; Manus, Neil D.; Pelster, Michael W.; Cook, Jason A.; Title, Wallace; Molinari, Anna L.; Charles, David. 2013. "Continuation of Long-Term Care for Cervical Dystonia at an Academic Movement Disorders Clinic." Toxins 5, no. 4: 776-783.