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content analysis, multiple sclerosis, nursing, spouses of patients, support



  1. Ghafari, Somayeh
  2. Khoshknab, Masoud Fallahi
  3. Norouzi, Kian
  4. Mohamadi, Eisa


ABSTRACT: About 30% of people with multiple sclerosis require some form of supportive assistance at home, and 80% of that assistance is usually provided by spouses or partners. So, the explanation and understanding of patients' experiences of support received from their spouses enable spouses and healthcare professionals to reform their actions toward positive support. This study aimed to explore the experiences of people with multiple sclerosis regarding support from their spouses. A qualitative content analysis method was used to conduct this study. The study participants were 25 patients with multiple sclerosis who were chosen through purposeful sampling from multiple sclerosis associations of Isfahan and Tehran (Iran). Data were collected through nonstructured interviews from September 2011 to August 2012. Four themes and nine subthemes emerged through data analysis. The main themes were play a supportive role, establish a friendly and comfortable relationship, help patient to fight the disease, and help to maintain and to improve patients' functional ability. The results could help in improving the quality of spouses' support in people with multiple sclerosis. Moreover, it could aid in determining the educational needs of patients as supported persons and spouses as supporters. The results could lead to increased knowledge of healthcare experts about the issue of how Iranian people with multiple sclerosis are being supported by their wives/husbands. Furthermore, it would help them to design caring models to promote successful supporting strategies for patients.