The purpose of this study was to identify the psychological/psychosocial needs of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their significant others (SOs) who attended an MS clinic. A quantitative questionnaire, developed from focus groups, consisted of 23 needs statements in the psychological/psychosocial needs category. Participants were randomly selected from the clinic's database. The questionnaire was completed by 353 MS patients and 240 significant others. Content analysis of the psychological category produced four themes: general psychological needs, psychological needs related to specific resource needs, psychological needs related to interaction with the medical community, and psychological needs statements displaying a difference between MS and SO responses. The data indicate the importance of psychological intervention in the care of MS patients and its implications for program planning.
The purpose of this study was to identify the needs of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their significant others. A quantitative questionnaire, developed from focus groups and consisting of 75 needs statements, was administered to 353 MS patients and 240 significant others. Analysis produced rankings of the 10 most important needs of both groups. Rankings by the MS patients and significant others were similar. Three themes emerged. Psychosocial and other personal needs (relationship with physicians, the MS healthcare team, family, and friends) were ranked with high frequency. Information needs (information regarding MS or available support) and financial security were also ranked as important. The data validate the importance of interdisciplinary care for the MS population.