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Title: The occupational impact of multiple sclerosis : a qualitative study of partners and a family
Author: Heward, Kate
ISNI:       0000 0001 3555 4714
Awarding Body: Leeds Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Leeds Beckett University
Date of Award: 2008
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Introduction Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic progressive condition which affects the central nervous system. Statistics show that it is the most common condition affecting young adults in the United Kingdom (UK). The condition is not life threatening, but there is no known cure. MS not only affects the person diagnosed, but can have a significant impact on other family members. This thesis aimed to explore the impact MS can have from an occupational perspective on other family members. Methodology This thesis reports on a qualitative research project, carried out in three phases; these combined considered the impact ofMS on partners across their daily occupations, and the experiences and dynamics on family life. In depth interviews were carried out and thematic analysis drawing on principles of Constructivist Grounded Theory were used. Results The results from the overall research project suggest it is possible, as a partner, to recreate the self and re define an occupational identity in the face of MS. Phase one explored the perspectives of the partner in areas of self care, productivity and leisure. The analysis found there were both opportunities and adjustments for partners, as well as struggles to maintain their identity or to establish new identities in ever changing situations. Phase two was developed from phase one, the analysis identified partners were able to re-create themselves in the face on MS, or were facing lives where their occupations were eroded in this phase. Phase three explored the experience of one family. This phase aimed to provide more comprehensive analysis, further developing the themes constructed from the first two phases. This phase suggested that family identities were constantly shifting, but that the family were developing occupationally together. The key themes spanning across the thesis are occupational adjustments, opportunities and re-creation in the face of MS. The implications for occupational therapy practice, research and education are then discussed and conclusions from the study as a whole are drawn.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available