The need for support services for family carers of people with motor neurone disease (MND): views of current and former family caregivers a qualitative study

Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(3):247-56. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.605511.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • England
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Home Nursing / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Neuron Disease / nursing*
  • Motor Neuron Disease / rehabilitation
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Respite Care
  • Social Support
  • Spouses
  • Terminal Care