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Nervenarzt. 2014 Jun;85(6):727-37. doi: 10.1007/s00115-014-4017-7.

[Coping with multiple sclerosis in partnerships: a systematic review of the literature].

[Article in German]

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Fakultät für Gesundheit (Department für Pflegewissenschaft), Universität Witten/Herdecke, Stockumer Str.12, 58453, Witten, Deutschland,



As with other chronic diseases, multiple sclerosis (MS) is not only experienced by the persons suffering from the disease but also their partners.


To explore the current level of knowledge on dealing with MS in relationships and to obtain indications of factors that have a positive impact on the way of coping with the disease, studies on this topic were sought in the databases of Cinahl, Medline and PsycINFO using the following keywords: multiple sclerosis, spouses, couples, married couple, dyadic system, dyadic systems and dyads. The results were interpreted in the context of "Developmental-contextual model of couples coping with chronic illness across the adult life span".


Systematic allocation of the study results found in this way created a comprehensive image of the coping process. The results clearly showed that both partners experience difficult feelings such as uncertainty, fear, depression and distress. Coping in a relationship with the often continuously changing situations and the associated stress is done best by couples who consistently exchange their mutual perceptions, inform one another of the mental and physical strains in open discussions and synchronise their ideas regarding the generation of the meaning and satisfaction with life.


Targeted support for dyadic coping can lead to stress reduction and higher relationship satisfaction of couples living with MS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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