Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

Access Control

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Embargo Period

4-30-2017

Degree Program

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Degree Track

Family Nurse Practioner

Year Degree Awarded

2017

Month Degree Awarded

May

Keywords

peer support, multiple sclerosis, health-related quality of life

Advisor

Emma Dundon

DNP Project Chair

Emma Dundon

DNP Project Member Name

Clare Lamontagne

DNP Project Outside Member Name

Aarushi Malhotra

Abstract

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that impacts the central nervous system, resulting in symptoms of fatigue, numbness, tingling, weakness, dizziness, pain, spasticity, gait disturbance, and depression. How individuals cope with MS may shape adjustment, impacting health outcomes both physically and psychologically. The difficulties that MS may present can result in patients experiencing depression and decreased quality of life. Peer support has been shown to help reduce problematic health behaviors and depression, and to improve medication behavior adherence. While peer support is known to be beneficial in many types of chronic illness, it is unclear whether peer support is beneficial for people with MS. Purpose: The purpose of this DNP project was to execute peer support interventions to evaluate how peer support may impact health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in people living with MS. Methods: Peer support groups were held once a week for six weeks for participants who are living with MS. Participants completed questionnaires before the first peer support group, and then at 3, 6, and 9-weeks, using quality of life as an outcome measure to evaluate the effectiveness of this peer support program. Results: Health-related quality of life was not consistent in participants during the peer support sessions. Conclusion: People with MS have symptoms and circumstances that vary on a daily basis, and this can impact their health-related quality of life.

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