Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60--65

Lived experience of spouses of persons with motor neuron disease: Preliminary findings through interpretative phenomenological analysis


1 Department of Psychiatric Social Work, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurology; Clinical Neurosciences, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Priya Treesa Thomas
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru - 260 029, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_123_19

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Introduction: Motor neuron disease (MND) is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that can have significant and debilitating impact on the affected patient and families. Spouses are the primary carers for persons with MND in India, and the life of the person with MND and their spouse is never the same after the diagnosis. Aim: The objective was to explore the lived experience of spouses of persons diagnosed with MND. Methods: A qualitative exploratory study with three-point interviews was conducted with spouse caregivers of two persons diagnosed with MND who were receiving treatment from a national tertiary referral care center for neurological disorders. All the patients were diagnosed as definite MND according to the modified El Escorial criteria. With the spouses, in-depth interviews were conducted at their home, lasting on an average of 1 hour using a semi-structured interview guide (prompts). Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to derive themes from the interviews. Results: The major themes emerged from the analysis were meaning of MND which contained the subthemes of delay in diagnosis and deterioration, psychological response across illness trajectory, relationship with the subthemes of changing roles in being acarer, marital relationship, to be seen as doingright,“ and communication; adaptation with the subthemes of coping strategies and support system and life without the loved one. Conclusion: The changes in the lives of spouses and in strategies for caring the partner with deterioration of symptoms in the illness trajectory are explained in this study. The palliative approach in the management of MND has to take into account, the experiences and needs of carers since care happens at home.






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