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focus groups, multiple sclerosis, qualitative research, symptoms



  1. Newland, Pamela K.
  2. Thomas, Florian P.
  3. Riley, Marguerite
  4. Flick, Louise H.
  5. Fearing, Arleen


ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis is a chronic neurological disease with a myriad of symptoms. Because most work has been quantitative, it is important to capture symptoms as described by patients who experience them, using a qualitative approach. The purpose of our study was to describe and identify symptoms, with emphasis on co-occurrence, using focus groups. Three focus groups were conducted (N = 16) with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients. Common symptoms, described as both singular and co-occurring, were problems with balance, cognition, vision, and heat intolerance. These findings augment past characterizations of symptoms experienced in persons with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and provide evidence for future studies.