The PEPP Study
Dr Sandra Neate
Partners of people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) experience the trauma of diagnosis and daily changes to life that having a partner with MS may lead to and may be significantly affected by the diagnosis, the disease and its progress. Previous research has largely focused on the negative impacts of the disease and thus points to a negative future for both the PwMS and their partners, with partners potentially facing an insecure personal future, relationship strain, and a potential future as a caregiver. While there is a significant amount of literature regarding the negative impacts of being a partner of a PwMS, relatively little research has focused on potential positive impacts.
In the PEPP (Perspectives and Experiences of Partners of People with MS) Study, we aim to assess the experiences of partners of a range of PwMS, to understand their experiences of their partner’s diagnosis, the impact on their personal life and their relationships, what they perceive as the advantages and disadvantages of their partner’s illness, what solutions, if any, they have found to the challenges and whether they have experienced growth through adversity. We will assess what resources, supports and engagements they have found useful and what has influenced their perception of their future.
This study will add to the understanding of the potential challenges of the diagnosis and the progress of MS for partners, but potentially provide an overview of some solutions that people have found to these challenges, what resources they have found useful, and may assist health care professionals in providing information and care that will result in positive outcomes for partners.
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