Adults with cognitive disabilities are more likely to have worse experiences with healthcare system

Dec. 18, 2023
Their overall satisfaction is significantly lower than those in the general population.

People with cognitive disabilities – like autism, attention deficit and memory loss – are less satisfied with their healthcare than those in the general population, according to a study published by a Rutgers researcher.

The study, published in Disability and Health Journal, examined how a national sample of adults experience the care they receive and the factors that contribute to their experiences.

Using a national sample of more than 22,000 adults including those with and without cognitive disabilities, researchers analyzed patient-reported experiences with healthcare services and compared the levels of satisfaction of experiences between those with and without disabilities.

Researchers found that individuals with cognitive disabilities rated their overall satisfaction with healthcare services as significantly lower than those in the general population. Those with cognitive disabilities also reported worse experiences in healthcare encounters.

Poor patient-provider communication can contribute to adverse outcomes for patients, pointing to the need for providers to improve their capacity to communicate with patients with disabilities.

Rutgers release on Newswise