Kersten, P., McLellan, D.L., Gross-Paju, K., Grigoriadis, N., Bencivenga, R., Beneton, C., Charlier, M., Ketelaer, P. and Thompson, A.J.
A questionnaire assessment of unmet needs for rehabilitation services and resources for people with multiple sclerosis: results of a pilot survey in five European countries.
Clinical Rehabilitation, 14, (1), . (doi:10.1191/026921500669834306).
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Objective : To develop an international services and needs assessment instrument (SUN) for people with multiple sclerosis and their carers and to pilot this in different countries of the European Community.
Design : Interview study of people with multiple sclerosis, their carers and nominated key professionals examining the unmet needs of patients and carers.
Setting : Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Main outcome measures : Needs assessment questionnaire.
Results : The study comprised 137 people with multiple sclerosis, 125 carers and 111 professionals. Patients reported on average 2.9 unmet needs for themselves; their carers and professionals reported on average 2.4. Needs were categorized into seven broad categories. Due to difficulties experienced
by the local researchers in distinguishing between needs and objectives a large proportion of needs had to be assigned to the ‘other’ category.
Conclusions : The SUN is a valuable and practicable tool for the identification of unmet needs for people with multiple sclerosis and their carers. Formal validation and reliability testing of the different language versions is recommended.
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