Patients and carers experience of living with a complex neurological and palliative diagnosis

Ana Draper, Emma Day, Elizabeth Garrood, Paula Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Background: A growing body of literature suggests that living with a complex, rare and/or progressive neurological condition can have significant impact on a patient and families/carer psychological and emotional well-being. Leventhal’s Self Regulation theory will underpin understanding of the coping strategies adopted. Leventhal and proponents of this theory suggest that we are active participants in our health care. Therefore, if we are able to recognise patients’ illness representations, we can better coordinate care to suit those who receive it. Bowen’s Family Systems Theory will be referenced when discussing the experience of the patients’ nominated family member.

Methods: Secondary data were used from the analysis of the service evaluation study of the ‘My Needs Now’ project hosted by Hertfordshire Community Healthcare Trust.

Findings: A number of themes emerged namely, Professional Knowledge and Understanding, Time and Progression, The Family, and Coping Strategies. It is apparent that health professionals need to develop their specific knowledge about complex, neurological and palliative diagnoses and engage with patients and carers as individual cases distributing knowledge appropriately. Whilst patients and carers must adopt a range of coping strategies allowing them to both reactively and proactively engage with support over the course of the disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-289
Number of pages20
Issue number3
Early online date5 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


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