Psychoeducational groups for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and their caregiver: a qualitative study

Vittoria Anita Bilenchi*, Paolo Banfi, Francesco Pagnini, Eleonora Volpato

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Objective: The current study aimed to describe the implementation of a structured psychoeducational intervention in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), identifying the needs of both patients and their caregivers. Methods: Five patients and thirteen caregivers attended eight psychoeducational group meetings at the Respiratory Rehabilitation Unit of IRCCS Santa Maria Nascente of Fondazione Don Carlo Gnocchi, Milan (Italy) and eight participants underwent semi-structured interviews once the group sessions ended. Group sessions and semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Then, data obtained by group meetings’ transcripts have been analysed using the grounded theory (GT) paradigm, while those obtained by interviews have been analysed using the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Results: The analysis of the meetings allowed us to identify seven main themes: “practical advice”, “explanation of the pathology”, “recognition of emotions”, “adaptation”, “family and relationships”, “being caregiver of oneself”, and “sharing”. Twenty-one sub-themes also emerged from the transcripts’ analysis. The analysis of the interviews allowed us to deduce the main reasons to participate (i.e., to have information and to be able to share experiences), the positive and negative aspects of the experiences. These results suggested the usefulness of psychoeducational groups in the regular clinical practise to allow patients and caregivers to share advice, emotions, and experiences with others in the same situation. Conclusions: This study displays the utility of psychoeducational group intervention in supporting people with ALS and their caregivers because of two main reasons: first for the psychoeducation provided by professionals; second for the possibility of sharing experiences and emotions with people in the same situation.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-17
Numero di pagine17
RivistaNeurological Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Caregivers
  • Grounded theory (GT)
  • Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA)
  • Psychoeducational groups
  • Qualitative methodology


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