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Cases in Health Disparities: Patients in Wheelchairs -- Are They Getting to Your Office?

  • Authors: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd
  • CME Released: 11/4/2010
  • Valid for credit through: 11/4/2011, 11:59 PM EST
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Target Audience and Goal Statement

This activity is intended for primary care clinicians, rehabilitation specialists, endocrinologists, rheumatologists, and other specialists who care for patients with physical disabilities.

The goal of this activity is to review the prevalence of mobility problems leading to disability among patients, the health consequences associated with limitations in mobility, and the role of physicians in addressing disparities arising from such disabilities.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe satisfaction with healthcare among those with disabilities
  2. Identify potential reasons for health disparities associated with mobility disabilities and examine strategies to improve access and quality of care


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  • Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd

    Clinical Professor; Director of Research and Faculty Development, Department of Family Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Orange, California


    Disclosure: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationship:
    Served as a nonproduct speaker for: "Topics in Health" for Merck Speaker Services


  • Carol Peckham

    Director, Editorial Development, Medscape, LLC


    Disclosure: Carol Peckham has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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  • Sarah Fleischman

    CME Program Manager, Medscape, LLC


    Disclosure: Sarah Fleischman has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

  • Laurie E. Scudder, DNP, NP

    CME Accreditation Coordinator, Medscape, LLC


    Disclosure: Laurie E. Scudder, DNP, NP, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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Cases in Health Disparities: Patients in Wheelchairs -- Are They Getting to Your Office?

Authors: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEdFaculty and Disclosures

CME Released: 11/4/2010

Valid for credit through: 11/4/2011, 11:59 PM EST


Case Presentation

Ms. Sansone is a 50-year-old married accountant with multiple sclerosis. She has begun using a scooter due to unsteady gait, poor coordination, weakness, and frequent falls over the past year. She is functioning well by adapting to her mobility limitations and continues to drive with an adapted car. She is now using her home as an office.

She has no recent genitourinary problems, urinary incontinence, or depression. Her last episode of optic neuritis occurred over 2 years ago.

She lives with her engineer husband of 15 years, and they have no children.

She is due for a Pap smear and a mammogram but is reluctant to have either test because of her embarrassment about transfer to the examination table and use of stirrups and using the scooter in the radiology setting. Although she has a family history of breast cancer in her maternal aunt and is concerned about her own risk, she requests an office breast examination as a screening test instead of a mammogram. She declines colonoscopy.

She reports that she and her husband are happily married and that he is adjusting to her mobility loss and is very supportive of her need for continued independence. A depression screen is negative.

As her primary care physician, what would you recommend for her health maintenance?

Table of Contents

  1. Case Presentation
  2. Commentary
  3. Case Resolution
  • Print