Purpose: Family carers provide the majority of home-based care for people with motor neurone disease (MND). Carers' need for, and use of, support services are not fully understood; this study aimed to explore, from a qualitative perspective, the views of current and former family carers of people with MND.
Methods: A qualitative study was undertaken in Northwest England, using narrative interviews with current (18) and former (10) carers of a family member with MND. An optional longitudinal element involving diary completion was offered to the current carers. Data were analyzed using a thematic framework approach.
Results: Carer's needs vary, but encompass the provision of information and training, availability of respite care, counselling, and access to trained paid-for carers.
Conclusions: There is need for a range of support services to be made available from which carers can select those most appropriate for them. Some support services are not always available for carers of this client group. There is a need for carers to access greater manual handling and training for physical care. Without sufficient support, carer burden can be overwhelming which may impact on the place of care of the patient and ultimately has implications for health and social care services.