The Perspectives of Iranian Patients With Multiple Sclerosis on Continuity of Care: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Background:

Continuity in multiple sclerosis (MS) care has been cited as a critical feature of this care and necessary to improve medical outcomes.

Purpose:

This exploratory and descriptive research attempts to identify continuity of care from the experience and perspective of patients with MS at two teaching hospitals and the MS Society in Ahvaz, Iran.

Methods:

In this study, 23 patients with MS were selected through purposeful sampling. Data were collected through in-depth and unstructured interviews and were analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis approach.

Results:

Four main themes emerged from the analysis: human-oriented attention, the necessity of purposeful planning, importance of responsibility, and caring with empathetic sensing.

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

Because of the importance of professional caring practice to continuity of care for patients with MS, we suggest that healthcare providers should include these aspects in care planning.

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