More MS news articles for Oct 2001

A phenomenologic assessment of relapsing MS patients' experiences during treatment with interferon beta-1a

J Neurosci Nurs 2001 Oct;33(5):240-4
Miller C, Jezewski MA.
Buffalo General Hospital Department of Neurology, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, School of Medicine and Biomedical Science, 100 High Street, Buffalo, NY, USA.

The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) who are being treated with interferon beta-1a.

MS patients often experience fear and uncertainty about their future and derive benefit from understanding their diagnosis as well as learning about their anticipated disease course.

Interferon beta-1a treatment can delay the accumulation of physical disability that naturally occurs over time in patients with untreated relapsing MS and thus offer hope for their future.

However, patients may be afraid to start interferon beta-1a because they do not know what to expect.

To answer the question, "What is the patient's experience on interferon beta-1a," we used Heideggerian phenomenologic and Colaizzi's qualitative data analysis techniques to interpret serial interviews of 15 patients with relapsing MS.

Interviews were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed by using the Martin qualitative data analysis computer program.

The theme clusters that emerged were learning, feelings, adaptation, and interferon beta-1a issues.

An exhaustive description of the phenomena that were derived illustrates the patients' process of learning about their illness and adapting to changes in their lives.

Starting a new treatment requires coping and challenges use of resources. Social support is vital to patients, particularly those who have difficulty injecting themselves.

Most of the patients expressed a sense of improvement in their condition since starting on interferon beta-1a treatment and considered it crucial to their hope for the future.

PMID: 11668882 [PubMed - in process]