Title

The Occupational Impact of Caring for a Partner with Multple Sclerosis

Presenter Information

Kate Heward

Start Time

16-10-2002 12:00 AM

End Time

18-10-2002 12:00 AM

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive neurological condition which can impact on the individual in a variety of ways. While it is easy to see how MS has occupational implications for the person with the condition, it is important to recognise that it can also impact on those close to the person with MS, such as partners, carers, and friends. Living with, which often means caring for, a person with MS can have occupational implications such as loss of paid employment, reduced shared and individual leisure time, and increased participation in the occupations associated with caring.

In the United Kingdom, the needs of carers are high on the government agenda, given that almost six million people are carers. Some of these individuals are providing care for over fifty hours per week, and many receive little or no support from statutory services. Whilst there has been some research which explores the experience of living with MS and the subjective experience of caring for somebody with MS, an occupational perspective is missing.

This paper will report on a qualitative research project currently underway which is seeking to explore the experience of partners of people with MS from an occupational perspective. The research is informed by grounded theory and involves semi-structured interviews with partners of people with MS living in the UK. After an introduction to the topic area and methodology, preliminary results of the research will be outlined.

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Oct 16th, 12:00 AM Oct 18th, 12:00 AM

The Occupational Impact of Caring for a Partner with Multple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, progressive neurological condition which can impact on the individual in a variety of ways. While it is easy to see how MS has occupational implications for the person with the condition, it is important to recognise that it can also impact on those close to the person with MS, such as partners, carers, and friends. Living with, which often means caring for, a person with MS can have occupational implications such as loss of paid employment, reduced shared and individual leisure time, and increased participation in the occupations associated with caring.

In the United Kingdom, the needs of carers are high on the government agenda, given that almost six million people are carers. Some of these individuals are providing care for over fifty hours per week, and many receive little or no support from statutory services. Whilst there has been some research which explores the experience of living with MS and the subjective experience of caring for somebody with MS, an occupational perspective is missing.

This paper will report on a qualitative research project currently underway which is seeking to explore the experience of partners of people with MS from an occupational perspective. The research is informed by grounded theory and involves semi-structured interviews with partners of people with MS living in the UK. After an introduction to the topic area and methodology, preliminary results of the research will be outlined.