Real-life Experience of Breaking bad News and Posttraumatic Growth by Patients With Multiple Sclerosis : a Qualitative Approach


  • W. Houllé
  • C. Mellinger
  • C. Tarquinio
  • M.L. Costantini


Background: Breaking bad news produces negative emotional, cognitive and behavioral reactions on patients, has consequences on their quality of life, but a traumatic event could caused positive outcomes in the patient’s life. This study is focused on multiple sclerosis patient’s real-life experience of breaking bad news and on the posttraumatic growth dimension. Methods: participants: 15 patients; data collection: semi-directive interviews (based on exploratory interviews and on the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory); data analysis: IPA and clinical analysis (qualitative approach). Findings: themes developed: real-life experience when breaking bad news; evaluation of the doctor-patient communication; consequences of the announcement on their quality of life; change in their priorities and new identity; strategies to cope with multiple sclerosis; psychic resistances in non-adherence with treatment… Discussion: Psychic traumatism when breaking bad news, feeling of powerlessness due to the evolving and progressively crippling character of MS and relative effectiveness of treatment explain the difficulty for patients to cope with MS and the fragility of their relation to their doctor.






Oral presentations