Evid Based Nurs 7:124 doi:10.1136/ebn.7.4.124
  • Qualitative

Good communication with healthcare providers helped patients with multiple sclerosis to cope and adapt

 Q How do people with multiple sclerosis (MS) describe and explain helpful and unhelpful communications in their health care?


Interpretive descriptive study.


A city in western Canada.


12 Euro-Canadians (83% women) who were 33–54 years of age, had been diagnosed with MS ⩾5 years ago, and were seeking healthcare services to help them live with their disease. 7 were unemployed because of their chronic condition, 3 were employed, 1 was on leave of absence, and 1 was a student. 6 had been professionals (3 healthcare professionals).


Participants were interviewed face to face for 1–2 hours. Interviews were audiotaped verbatim, and transcripts were coded for conceptual themes. A focus group interview with 8 participants was used to validate, clarify, and refine findings. 3 healthcare professionals who cared for people with MS participated in validation interviews to confirm that the logic of the participants’ perspectives would have credibility with a health professional audience.


Participants emphasised that communication with healthcare providers affected both their experiences of health care and their ability to manage their illness on a daily basis. 3 themes emerged. …

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