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The needs of carers of people with multiple sclerosis: a literature review


Magarita Corry, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin, 24 D’Olier Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.


People with multiple sclerosis depend heavily upon their families and other informal carers as they receive limited support from health-care professionals or health-care services. Adopting the carer role results in a life-changing experience, which may bring rewards and challenges to the carer. This paper reviews the research addressing the experiences of carers of people with multiple sclerosis published between 2002 and 2007 building upon an earlier review. The literature suggests that carers have needs across various domains and that spouses/partners have particular needs. Much of the evidence has limited generalizibility although the geographical spread of the evidence indicates considerable consistency of need. The review describes ongoing carer needs which require supportive care and provides the basis for the development and testing of carer interventions for use by health-care professionals.

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