All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for May 2003

The needs and experiences of caregivers of individuals with multiple sclerosis: a systematic review

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12735530&dopt=Abstract

Clin Rehabil 2003 May;17(3):234-48
McKeown LP, Porter-Armstrong AP, Baxter GD.
Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group, University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, Northem Ireland, UK.

PRIMARY OBJECTIVE:

To appraise recent studies regarding the needs and experiences of caregivers of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS).

DESIGN:

The following computerized databases were searched: CINAHL, BIDS IBSS, ASSIA, MEDLINE, PSYCHINFO, British Nursing Index, ISI Web of Science, Zetoc, AMED (1990-April 2002).

The computer-based search was supplemented by manual searches of the reference lists of all retrieved studies and review articles.

Inclusion and exclusion criteria were formulated.

RESULTS:

Twenty-four studies from across the world that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed.

The majority of studies were descriptive in nature.

The studies covered a variety of topics, including how carers assist people with MS, the effect of providing care on a carer's physical and psychological well-being, social life, financial situation and overall quality of life, and how carers cope with the stresses of providing care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Providing care for a person with MS has a major impact on all areas of the caregiver's life.

Perceived social support has been shown to have a beneficial impact on the caregiver.

Limitations in design and variation in methodology of studies limits the generalizability of findings.

There is a need for further research, in particular the development of reliable and valid disease-specific caregiver assessment instruments.