Disabil Rehabil. 2003 Oct 21;25(20):1168-80
Finlayson M, Van Denend T.
The purpose of this study was to develop an understanding the experience and meaning of mobility loss among older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS).
This work is part of a larger study on the health concerns and service needs of older adults with MS.
Twenty-seven people with MS (mean age = 62 years, range = 55 - 82) were interviewed using a phenomenological approach.
Thematic analysis found that three factors contributed to participants' experience of mobility as a person with MS: reality of having MS, mobility needs, and contextual factors.
Participants discussed how the reality of MS meant variability in their ability to get around and the importance of trying to remain in control over their mobility experiences.
The experience of mobility lead participants to mourn losses, take action, and contemplate their futures.
They expressed concerns about the continual declines in their mobility, losing independence, becoming a burden on caregivers, and the potential for having to move into a nursing home.
Findings provide insight into the experience of mobility loss among older adults with MS, and point to potential strategies that can be used to help people cope with and adapt to these losses.