Satisfaction with communicative participation as defined by adults with multiple sclerosis: a qualitative study.

PURPOSE: This study examined satisfaction with communicative participation as reported by adults with multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHOD: Eight community-dwelling adults with MS participated in semi-structured interviews. They were asked to discuss their satisfaction with their communication in a variety of situations. Interviews were analyzed using a constant comparative method of qualitative description.

RESULTS: Themes derived included: Comfort, consisting of Ease and Confidence; Success of the Outcome, including Function is Achieved and A Connection is Made; and Personal Meaning of Participation, including Personal Preferences, Comparison with the Past, and Thinking about One’s Own Communication.

CONCLUSIONS: Participants described multiple facets of satisfaction with communicative participation. Some of the dimensions were similar to those in existing assessment instruments such as levels of ease or difficulty with performance. Participants did not talk about frequency of activities as a key part of their satisfaction. Implications for identifying intervention targets and treatment outcome measurements are provided. Learning outcomes: The reader should be able to: 1) define communicative participation and identify key elements of this construct; 2) identify the issues that were most relevant to satisfaction with communicative participation with participants with MS; and 3) identify reasons for greater emphasis on the subjective viewpoint of people with communication disorders in measurement of treatment outcomes.