Psychosocial support as a counselling in improving health-related quality of life in patients with recent multiple sclerosis in Finland

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Abstract

heiskanen s & pietilä a-m (2009) Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness1, 167–176

Psychosocial support as a counselling in improving health-related quality of life in patients with recent multiple sclerosis in Finland

Aim.

The aim of the study was to describe and explain psychosocial support provided by nursing personnel as experienced by people with multiple sclerosis.

Background.

The goal of providing psychosocial support is to understand and improve patients' health, self-care, initiative, commitment to care, resources, deal with emotions, social interaction and circumstances.

Design and methods.

Informants were individuals (n = 204) diagnosed using multiple sclerosis between the years 2003–2005 in Finland. Data were collected in 2005 by a posted questionnaire. The data were analysed with cross-tabulations, correlation coefficients, mean tests, a factor analysis and multiple regression analysis.

Results.

People with multiple sclerosis need psychosocial support from nursing personnel to promote health and self-care, strengthen emotional and mental resources and maintain social relationships. The support was to include information on multiple sclerosis and related treatment options, as well as discussion, listening to the patient and supporting them in the new situation in life caused by the illness.

Conclusion.

The psychosocial support received by the patients was sufficient and corresponded to their needs. Nursing personnel have the skills to improve the health-related quality of life of people with multiple sclerosis.

Relevance to clinical practice.

The results of this research may be applied in practical nursing, such as in planning of program of neuropsychosocial rehabilitation, in developing of home care and institutional care and in planning of content of nursing education.

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