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disability, mixed-method, mutuality, nursing, qualitative content analysis, relationship



  1. Cilluffo, Silvia
  2. Bassola, Barbara
  3. Lusignani, Maura


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Mutuality, a positive relationship between caregiver and care receiver that affects patient's health and caregiver's burden, stress, and well-being, has never been investigated in motor neuron disease. METHOD: We conducted a mixed-method study with convergent parallel design. Quantitative data were collected with the Mutuality Scale, and qualitative data were collected using deep interviews. The sample was composed of 30 people with motor neuron diseases and 24 family caregivers. RESULTS: Deductive, qualitative content analysis of the interviews confirmed the presence of mutuality and its 4 dimensions. The average score of patients' Mutuality Scale was 3.07 (SD, 0.79; range, 1.3-4), and that of the caregivers was 3.16 (SD, 0.53; range, 2.2-3.9). The dimensions "love" and "shared values" had the highest scores, whereas the dimension "shared pleasurable activities" had the lowest score. Patients' and caregivers' answers correlated. CONCLUSION: Mutuality concept and its 4 dimensions had content validity in motor neuron disease people. Nurses should consider the level of mutuality and adopt strategies to increase and preserve it.