A self-care, problem-solving and mindfulness intervention for informal caregivers of people with motor neurone disease: A pilot study


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Abstract

Background:Informal caregivers of people with motor neurone disease (MND) take on an extensive role. Caregivers are at increased risk of experiencing psychological distress and burden, yet, there is a lack of intervention programmes to support them.Aim:The aim of this study was to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of a therapeutic group intervention promoting self-care, problem-solving and mindfulness to informal caregivers of people with MND.Design:Pilot study that utilised a one-arm pre- and post-design. Acceptability of the intervention was assessed 2 weeks post intervention with a questionnaire designed specifically for this study. Feasibility was assessed with consent, adherence and reasons for non-participation, refusal and attrition. Participants completed baseline and follow-up (6-week post intervention) questionnaires for psychological morbidity, burden, problem-solving, mindfulness and preparedness.Settings/participants:Caregivers of people with a diagnosis of MND within the past 12 months who were 18 years or older; who could speak, read and write in English and who were attending a progressive neurological diseases clinic were eligible.Results:A total of 13 caregivers participated in one of three group intervention sessions which were focused on self-care, problem-solving and mindfulness. The intervention appeared to be feasible and acceptable. All participants stated that they would recommend the intervention to others. The group format appeared to be highly valued. There was no significant change in measures between pre-intervention and 6 weeks post intervention.Conclusion:This pilot serves as an initial step for examining interventions for MND caregivers, with the hope of identifying effective, efficient and sustainable strategies to best support this group.

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