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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2014, Article ID 613701, 12 pages
Research Article

Comparisons of Costs between Black Caribbean and White British Patients with Advanced Multiple Sclerosis in the UK

1King’s College London, Institute of Psychiatry, Centre for the Economics of Mental and Physical Health, London SE5 8AF, UK
2King’s College London, Cicely Saunders Institute, Department of Palliative Care, Policy & Rehabilitation, London SE5 9PJ, UK
3King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Neurology Department, London SE5 9RS, UK

Received 19 June 2013; Revised 18 September 2013; Accepted 9 October 2013; Published 5 February 2014

Academic Editor: Francesco Patti

Copyright © 2014 Wayne Smith et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is now more common among black and minority ethnic groups in the UK but little is known about the costs of care amongst different ethnic groups. Objective. This study examined and compared service use and costs for people severely affected with MS from Black Caribbean (BC) and White British (WB) backgrounds in the UK and identified predictors of cost for both groups. Method. Population-based cross-sectional study of 43 BC and 43 WB patients with MS (EDSS ≥ 6) and their informal caregivers recruited from an MS service in southeast London. Interviews collected data on health and social service use and informal care support. Costs were calculated using UK unit cost data. Using regression analyses we compared costs between the ethnic groups and identified possible predictors of cost. Results. The mean (SD) costs for the WB and BC groups were £25,778 (£39,387) and £23,186 (£30,433), respectively. Results identified no significant difference in total cost between the two ethnic groups. The EDSS score alone was a significant predictor of cost. Conclusion. Similar costs between ethnic groups indicate that with regard to this MS service and geographical area, access to care was not affected by ethnicity.