Challenged thriving: a qualitative study of resilience in multiple sclerosis family carers during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Odessa McKenna University of Ottawa, Canada

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Afolasade Fakolade Queen’s University, Canada

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Katherine Cardwell University of Ottawa, Canada

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Lara A. Pilutti University of Ottawa, Canada

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This study investigates the lived experiences of multiple sclerosis family carers during the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the impact of the pandemic on psychological resilience processes using a socioecological framework. Following thematic analysis of interviews, two main findings emerged: first, behavioural vigilance intended to mitigate viral spread eclipsed carers’ needs and deprived them of support resources; and, second, multiple sclerosis carers harboured resilience via practices of gratitude and leveraging interpersonal relationships. Future action is needed to develop public crisis responses that integrate multiple sclerosis carers’ needs, including improved care-continuity models, the alleviation of social isolation and advancements in multifaceted wellness preservation.

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Odessa McKenna University of Ottawa, Canada

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Afolasade Fakolade Queen’s University, Canada

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Katherine Cardwell University of Ottawa, Canada

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Lara A. Pilutti University of Ottawa, Canada

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