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A Profile of Support Group Use and Need among Middle-aged and Older Adults with Multiple Sclerosis

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posted on 21.10.2012, 00:00 by Marcia L. Finlayson, Chi C. Cho
This study compared middle-aged and older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS, N = 1,275) according to their use of support groups and identified factors associated with perceived need. Over 64.6% (n = 824) of participants had attended a MS support group meeting at least once. Individuals who had never attended a group were more likely to reside in urban or suburban communities, report lower symptom interference, and fewer activity limitations. Women, individuals without a helper, and people with greater symptom interference were more likely to perceive a need for a support group. Findings raise questions for professionals involved in developing and implementing multiple sclerosis support groups


This study is supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through Health Care Delivery and Policy Research Contract #HC049, awarded to Dr. Finlayson. The information presented in this paper does not necessarily reflect the position, ideas or opinions of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


Publisher Statement

Post print version of article may differ from published version. This is an electronic version of an article published in Finlayson, M. L. and C. C. Cho (2011). "A profile of support group use and need among middle-aged and older adults with multiple sclerosis." Journal of Gerontological Social Work. 54(5): 475-493. Journal of Gerontological is available online at: DOI:10.1080/01634372.2011.575446


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