TITLE

Unmet Needs of Patients Feeling Severely Affected by Multiple Sclerosis in Germany: A Qualitative Study

AUTHOR(S)
Galushko, Maren; Golla, Heidrun; Strupp, Julia; Karbach, Ute; Kaiser, Claudia; Ernstmann, Nicole; Pfaff, Holger; Ostgathe, Christoph; Voltz, Raymond
PUB. DATE
March 2014
SOURCE
Journal of Palliative Medicine;Mar2014, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p274
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: The needs of patients feeling severely affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) have rarely been investigated. However this is essential information to know before care can be improved, including adding palliative care (PC) services where helpful. Since it remains unclear at what point specialized palliative care should begin for this patient group, this study focuses on needs in general. Objective: The objective was to explore the subjectively unmet needs of patients feeling severely affected by MS. Methods: The study used a qualitative cross-sectional approach for needs assessment. Fifteen patients self-reporting feeling severely affected by MS were recruited and interviewed using a combination of purposive and convenience sampling (five were accompanied by a caregiver relative). Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, followed by qualitative content analysis. Results: Unmet needs were identified in the main categories 'support of family and friends,' 'health care services,' 'managing everyday life,' and 'maintaining biographical continuity.' Patients expressed the desire for more support from their families and to be viewed as distinct individuals. They see a substantial deficit in the physician-patient relationship and in the coordination of services. A decrease in expressed unmet needs was found for patients more severely affected and less socially integrated. Conclusions: To address the unmet needs of severely affected MS patients, health care services need to be improved and linked with existing PC services. Special attention is required to form supporting professional-patient relationships. Multiprofessional services should be accessible for patients, while integrating relatives. All services should have an individual approach to provide needs-tailored support.
ACCESSION #
94871036

 

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