Health care communication issues in multiple sclerosis: an interpretive description

Qual Health Res. 2004 Jan;14(1):5-22. doi: 10.1177/1049732303259618.


Communication between persons with chronic illness and their professional health care providers is a critical element of appropriate health care. As the field of health care communication evolves, it becomes apparent that aspects of the illness experience shared by those affected by specific diseases might be a source of particular insight into what constitutes effective or appropriate communications. This interpretive description of health care communication issues in multiple sclerosis was based on qualitative secondary analysis of a set of in-depth interviews and focus groups conducted with 12 persons with longstanding MS experience. Analysis of their accounts illustrates an intricate interplay between common features within the disease trajectory and the communications that are perceived as helpful or unhelpful to living well with this chronic illness. From the analysis of these findings, the authors draw interpretations regarding what might be considered communication competencies for those who care for patients with this disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease
  • Communication*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*