Women coping successfully with multiple sclerosis and the precursors of change

Qual Health Res. 2009 Feb;19(2):181-93. doi: 10.1177/1049732308329465. Epub 2008 Dec 17.


In this qualitative study, we explored the question of why some women with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) cope successfully in spite of disease progression. Ten women with progressive courses of MS, the more physically challenging forms of the disease, who self-reported as coping successfully with the disease, participated in the study. The study features an interview protocol using a psychotherapeutic model of change, precursors of change model, and incorporates a then-post design. The women's rich descriptions and explanations of precursors indicate the differences between the precursors used most frequently at time of diagnosis with MS and at the time of interview. The article provides a glimpse into the experiences these women have had with the continued change and unpredictability that the disease often engenders.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Women's Health