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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9243161, 8 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/9243161
Research Article

Dealing with Chronic Illness: Experiences of Iranian Families of Persons with Multiple Sclerosis—A Qualitative Study

1Psychiatric Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
2Qualitative Studies Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
3Research Department, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
4Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
5University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan
6World Wide Nursing Service Network (WWNSN), PLLC, El Paso, TX, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Esmail Khodadadi; moc.liamg@11idadadohkliamse

Received 14 November 2016; Revised 3 February 2017; Accepted 1 August 2017; Published 7 September 2017

Academic Editor: Peter Arnett

Copyright © 2017 Hossein Ebrahimi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. Today family members are providing care and support to each other during illness. In particular, in chronic illness, such as multiple sclerosis, the families are more involved in caring for and supporting their patients, so they use several strategies to cope with this situation. The purpose of this study was to explore the coping strategies in family caregivers of persons with multiple sclerosis in Iran. Methods. This is a qualitative study that was conducted through 18 family caregivers of persons with multiple sclerosis. A purposeful sampling method was used. Data were collected through semistructured and in-depth interviews conducted in Multiple Sclerosis Society and hospitals of Tabriz in Iran. The collected data was analyzed according to qualitative content analysis. Results. Five main categories were elicited from interviews: “using spirituality,” “living with hope,” “experiencing persistence and stability,” “seeking support,” and “seeking alternative treatments.” Conclusion. The study findings can help to inform the support given to families to help them cope with the effects of caring for someone with multiple sclerosis. Health system managers and professionals by using these results are able to support patients and their families appropriately in order to improve their quality of life and alleviate the complications of disease.