Understanding health care professional-patient interactions in Multiple Sclerosis: A systematic review and thematic synthesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • Oxford Brookes University


Aim: to examine the experiences of health care professional (HCP)-patient interactions in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), identifying factors that can influence these interactions.
A three stage systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative and quantitative research was undertaken. Stage 1: the systematic literature search; Stage 2: methodological appraisal of the qualitative papers; Stage 3: thematic synthesis of all qualitative papers, and Stage 4 the integration of quantitative findings into the synthesis.
Forty-nine qualitative studies were identified. This included 1014 individuals with MS (244 male, 755 female and 15 unknown) and 106 carers and 86 HCPs. Seventeen quantitative studies were identified which included 7680 (2008 male, 5812 females, and 40 unknown) participants as well as 224 carers. Two themes are discussed: (1) The expectations, experiences and perceptions of interactions with HCPs, and (2) The factors that influenced interactions and relationships.
There is need for improvement in the content and provision of information to patients with MS from HCPs. Specific strategies are suggested and implications for patients and health care providers are considered.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-217
JournalOpen Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


  • Multiple Sclerosis, Review, Communication