The Lived Experience of Multiple Sclerosis: A Qualitative Study
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experience of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological disease. This phenomenological study used Georgi's Method to analyze the data obtained from the audio tape-recorded interviews of three individuals with MS. The data was then grouped into six themes that were common within each of the participants' interviews. The following themes illustrate the participants' experience of living with MS: (a) seeking an explanation for symptoms, (b) financing and familial concerns, (c) identifying supportive relationships, (d) establishing trust with the Ml physician, (e) adapting to change, and (f) rejecting the MS label. These themes may provide nurses and other health care workers with knowledge and understanding of the struggles that patients with MS face. Using these themes as tools may help nurses to educate newly diagnosed MS patients about common feelings and struggles that have been felt by others diagnosed with the disease.