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BMJ Support Palliat Care. 2014 Mar;4(1):38-42. doi: 10.1136/bmjspcare-2013-000489. Epub 2013 Jul 13.

Staying just one step ahead: providing care for patients with motor neurone disease.

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1
School of Nursing and Midwifery, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

There is limited information about the experiences and educational needs of health professionals who may be required to provide care for people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) especially in the later stages of the disease. The aim of this study was to determine the experiences of, and need for, education of these health professionals.

METHODS:

Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 31 health professionals with some experience in providing palliative care for people with MND. Thematic content analysis was used to identify common themes.

RESULTS:

A key theme, Just One Step Ahead, emerged, that describes the central capability health professionals identified as necessary to help individuals plan and prepare for disease and lifestyle changes just before they arise. Two subthemes also emerged: Expertise in MND and Bespoke Communication. Expertise in MND described the required understanding of the disease and the particular individual's version of the disease to allow the health professional to plan, advise, support and anticipate the needs of the person living with MND. Bespoke Communication was the facility to tailor care messages sensitively and effectively to the range of people involved in care (patients, family, healthcare team members).

CONCLUSIONS:

Care of people with MND requires up-to-date expertise about the disease and skilled communication abilities to manage complexity and change. Timely and focused education and specialist MND support for care providers are essential to tailored and responsive care and a widely available education programme has been developed to address these needs.

KEYWORDS:

Communication; Education and training; Neurological conditions

PMID:
24644769
DOI:
10.1136/bmjspcare-2013-000489
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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