The effect of gender role constructs on help-seeking and carer burden in male carers of people with multiple sclerosis
thesisposted on 21.11.2018, 11:19 by Damien Appleton
Critical Literature Review: A systematic ethnographic meta-synthesis was conducted that aimed to provide an account of the lived experience of a spouse/partner caring for their partner with multiple sclerosis. Twenty studies met the eligibility criteria for inclusion into the synthesis and six themes emerged. A line of argument synthesis is presented as a model and suggestions for further research and clinical implications are discussed. Research Report: Multiple sclerosis commonly presents within middle age and disproportionately effects women, meaning male partners adopt caring roles. Studies indicate men’s attitudes towards help-seeking are influenced by their beliefs about idealised gender behaviours, and commonly the need to uphold an ideal of independence and stoicism acts as a barrier to engaging support. It was hypothesised gender constructs could predict attitudes to help-seeking and level of carer burden. Results indicated they explained significant variance in carer burden but not help-seeking. A model of the influence of gender role constructs on aspects of the carer experience is presented. Recommendations are made for engaging male informal carers in aspects of self-care and sourcing support. Reflective Critique: A critique of both the systematic meta-synthesis and the research project are presented. Reflections and learning points are discussed, with particular reference to aspects of recruitment and methodology. Service Evaluation: NICE guidance recommends cancer patients receive assessment of psychological distress and a tiered pathway for psychological care. This service evaluation focused on the implementation of these recommendations. Initially, an audit of the current screening for psychological distress was conducted within an oncology department. A pilot study was then conducted to assess the implementation of using psychological distress screening tools within the breast cancer team. The successful pilot study necessitated developing recommendations for broadening the use of screening tools and developing a pathway for psychological care.