All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for May 2004

How MS caregivers view support from others

May 24th, 2004
Boston Cure Project

Being a caregiver for someone with MS -- i.e., helping him/her continue living at home despite disabilities -- can be a very demanding job which is made more difficult by the unpredictability and long-term nature of the disease. A team of researchers from Northern Ireland looked into how and when caregivers seek out support from family, friends or agencies, and documented their attitudes toward outside support. Through four focus group discussions involving a total of 16 caregivers, the team identified a series of common themes concerning acceptance of support:

The authors recommend that health care professionals be aware of the dynamic and individual attitudes of caregivers toward outside support, especially when discussing interventions with caregivers and recipients. Health care providers also need to work with caregivers in need of support to learn how to accept it. Because high-quality, consistent support can be difficult to arrange, it also seems to me that caregivers would be well-advised to overcome their resistance to receiving help and proactively identify potential sources of support (formal and informal) before they are actually needed.

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