Access to financial resources influences the quality of life that individuals are able to lead. An important aspect of quality of life for persons with chronic neurological disorders and their families is the financial burden placed on the family due to the illness. Health care providers may assume that most illness related expenses are covered by insurance. While many studies examine the cost of illnesses to society, research is only beginning to explore the financial burden that such disorders place on the family. This manuscript describes several recent studies that evaluate the financial burden that 2 chronic neurological disorders, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's Disease, place on persons with the disorders and their families. A better understanding of the financial burden of disorders may help health care providers to better meet the need of their patients either through improved counseling or through referral of patients to appropriately trained individuals.
© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.