Literature Review

Patients With Epilepsy Have Limited Access to Health Care Services

A national survey indicates they have trouble affording their medication, have less access to mental health and dental services, and have difficulty even getting to their medical appointments.


Patients with epilepsy are more likely to have difficulty accessing health care services, according to the National Health Interview Survey during 2010 and 2013. The survey, which included data from more than 27,000 and 34,000 adults in these respective years, revealed that patients with epilepsy had more problems affording medication (relative risk [RR]: 2.40), gaining access to mental health services (RR = 3.23), getting eyeglasses (RR= 2.36), and obtaining dental services (RR = 1.98). Similarly, this patient population was more than five times as likely to report transportation problems as a barrier to obtaining health care services. The survey data suggested that the relative lack of private health insurance may have contributed to these disparities (RR = 0.58).

Thurman DJ, Kobau R, Luo Y-H, Helmers SL, Zack MM. Health-care access among adults with epilepsy: The U.S. National Health Interview Survey, 2010 and 2013. Epilepsy Behav. 2016;55:184-188.

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