Interventions targeting psychological well-being for motor neuron disease carers: A systematic review

Paul Cafarella, Tanja Effing, Anna Chur-Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives This systematic review considers interventions designed to improve the psychological well-being (PWB) of carers of people with motor neuron disease (MND) using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods studies, and aimed to (1) summarize current research, (2) assess the quality of evidence, and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. Method Mixed-methods systematic review (MMSR) was conducted based on Joanna Briggs Institute methodology for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods reviews and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. Results Thirteen papers met the inclusion criteria, including 12 studies (six mixed-methods, four quantitative, and two qualitative). Four studies described randomized controlled trials, seven detailed uncontrolled longitudinal studies with a single treatment group and a pre-post design, and one was an observational survey. Critical appraisal of the studies revealed a wide range of weaknesses in the quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies. Due to the heterogeneity of interventions, outcomes, and measurements, a narrative and convergent approach to data synthesis was employed. While a minority of studies demonstrated some benefits to hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of PWB, the interpretability of these data was limited by methodological problems. Significance of results This MMSR highlighted a paucity of quality research regarding interventions for the PWB of MND carers. Although some benefits to PWB were demonstrated, most studies suffered from substantial methodological problems, rendering the overall evidence base low. High-quality and carefully designed studies are a priority to enable effective development and testing of much-needed interventions targeting the PWB for MND carers.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalPalliative and Supportive Care
Early online date15 Mar 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2022


  • Carers
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Systematic review
  • Well-being


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