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Family carers' experiences of receiving the news of a Motor Neurone Disease: a national survey

Aoun, S.M., Breen, L.J., Oliver, David J., Henderson, R.D., Edis, R., O'Connor, M., Howting, D., Harris, R., Birks, C. (2016) Family carers' experiences of receiving the news of a Motor Neurone Disease: a national survey. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 372 . pp. 144-151. ISSN 0022-510X. (doi:10.1016/j.jns.2016.11.043) (KAR id:59785)

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Family carers have a central role in the care and support of people with MND and face the challenges of the disease

from diagnosis to progression and the multiple losses of MND, but their support needs are often neglected.

This study aimed to investigate the experiences of family carers at the time of diagnosis and their satisfaction

with receiving the news. An anonymous postal survey was facilitated by all MND Associations in Australia

(2014) and 190 family carers completed the questionnaire. The questions centred on the SPIKES protocol for

communicating bad news.

Two-thirds of family carers rated the skills of their neurologists as above average and were satisfied with the delivery

of the diagnosis, in terms of having a significantly longer consultation time, the neurologist being warm

and caring, satisfaction with the amount and content of information they received and relevant supports, and a

plan for following up support. Conversely those who rated the neurologist's skills as below average commented

on the difficulties they encountered and the long term emotional stress engendered by poor communication.

The study emphasises previous research that suggested that neurologists may require education and training in

communicating the diagnosis and this should include family carers as a vital member in MND care.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.11.043
Uncontrolled keywords: MND/ALS Family carers Breaking bad news Empathy SPIKES protocol MND diagnosis
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Depositing User: Jo Ruffels
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2017 14:21 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Oliver, David J..

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