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grounded theory, motor neuron disease, processes, qualitative study, self-care



  1. Bassola, Barbara
  2. Sansone, Valeria Ada
  3. Lusignani, Maura


ABSTRACT: Introduction: Self-care is a crucial aspect in the management of people with motor neuron disease (MND). Nurses and healthcare professionals must know the processes used by patients in performing self-care to identify problems and help them. Decision-making processes, self-understanding, and political and social support influence the self-care process in chronic diseases. Little is known about the self-care process in MND. Objective: The aim of this study was to gain insight on the self-care processes in people with MND. Method: A grounded theory method was chosen for this study. Data from interviews were gathered, and a simultaneous comparative analysis was conducted to identify categories and codes. Results: Twenty-one people with spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis participated in the study. Five categories were identified as grounded in the data. The process starts from "being yourself in the care," and it develops thanks to "growing and changing" and with a "thinking about the future" approach. "Family role" and "you and who helps you" categories affect the process itself. Conclusion: The self-care process in people with MND is not seen in a daily perspective but changes with the evolution of the disease. For the growing patients with MND, changing, accepting and controlling the disease while deciding autonomously are the foundations of the process.