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MS Care Partnerships and Community Nurse care- A Case Study of Karen


Health care management systems are playing a crucial role in the field of nursing, and imperatively, the case to establish home based primary care for people with chronic and long-term diseases is made more viable. Primary health care is practiced through medical institutions, but in the contemporary medical fields, there is a need to establish primary health care at home to reduce the financial and institutional burden, and improve self-care management. Karen Bailey is suffering from an acute illness that limits her role as a wife and mother, with a lack of home-based care facilities exacerbating the issue. Ideally, only her husband and sister are around her to offer to support, questioning the why there are no care partnerships that will make her life much better while her husband and sister continue in their roles with no fuss. The essay provides a critical analysis of therapeutic home-based care for Karen, but reforming care interventions at home and the need to incorporate a community nurse to improve her conditions and enhance support.

Care Partnerships for Karen

The Australian health reform report in 2004 proposed the incorporation of ambulatory care programs to supplement primary hospitals, and ideally, the concession was that ambulatory care programs will be facilitated at home. The growing demand for health care has effectively led to the establishment of home-based care facilities, but the same cannot be said of Karen. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, and common among people aged 20 and 40 years. There have been negative relationship correlations between chronically ill patients and care partners, where care partners report high degree stress which limits their role in offering substantial primary health care. The case of Karen’s husband is evident considering that he cannot multitask, and when he does, he either goes to work late or arrives home late which may limit his role in facilitating adapted care. Concurrently, Lisa, Karen’s sister is also at a loss since Karen is in denial and does not accept her assistance even with her health deteriorating.

McKenzie et al. (2015) opine that caregiving is not an immoderate scale societal problem and care partnerships are geared towards enhancing and improving the health of people with MS. In the case of Karen, establishing partnerships with territorial health care homes and care facilities will help to supplement the work done by both Lisa and Geoff improving clinical attention needs and enhance communication. Since Karen is in denial, a lack of communication will lead to subconscious risks and traumas, which will deteriorate the health outcomes of Karen. It’s at this point that community care support systems must be incorporated to facilitate care partnerships at the home level to ensure both Geoff and Lisa continue with their works while improving the health outcomes of Karen while also supplementing her role with the children and chores.

Community Nursing Care Required

New treatments in treating MS have been considered following growing concerns about the safety, tolerability and efficacy of its treatment, and the role of the nurse can no longer be ignored. In the health care systems, the treatment of MS will have a significant effect on all health care teams, but more pronounced among MS nurses, who must participate in the first instance development partnerships and cordial relationships with their patients (Burke, Dishon, McEwan and Smrtka, 2011). It is commonly agreed through research that MS has a broad range of symptoms that affect the durability and effectiveness of patients, and thus requires a comprehensive community team that will offer support for effective disease management. The case of Karen presents that of a patient who lacks proper nursing care, and this issue can be attributed to the continued denial of the chronic illness which makes her overwork just to prove a point. However, this does not go down well health-wise, and she continues to put her health at more risk. According to Burke et al. (2011), having a specialized MS nurse at Karen’s home will improve knowledge and skills at the grounds, which directly translates to improvements in health and care facilities for both Karen and her family, especially Geoff. MS nurses not only contribute in care but also, the diagnosis, management, and support and accordingly, the advancements in MS nursing therapies will improve the ambulatory patterns in Karen and improve her wellbeing.

The Australian Multiple Sclerosis Nursing Manual provides a list of effective ways in improving nursing care for Karen. Through the use of the manual, the MS nurses will be able to have a background understanding of the nervous system in Karen, since MS affects the brain and spinal cord, which results in ambulatory complications and other concerns. Unlike Geoff and Lisa, who have no professional knowledge in this area, the MS nurse will be able to diagnose and provide a clinical presentation of the issues surrounding Karen for improving medical care and support. Para-clinical investigations by the nurses will help formulate additional physical mechanisms that will help improve ambulation while at the same time identifying MS relapse which continuously affect Karen especially because of work overload at home. The health ministry in Australia, through MS treatment, allows patients to receive education to promote their adherence to therapy, and considering that Karen remains at home with no primary health care facility, the MS nurse will help improve Karen’s management of side effects through disease-modifying therapies. Thompson (2011) coins that competent patients care management will only be enhanced if the MS nurse can instill an educational culture, not only for Karen but other caregivers. Essentially, the nurse will be able to offer on-going therapeutic follow-up and promote health care through ceaseless assessment of the patients and improving the health goals set by Karen.

Establishing therapeutic relationships is central to improving the clinical outcomes of Karen, but this must be enhanced by developing appropriate communication channels and procedures (Burke et al., 2011). The MS nurse will allow Karen to select from a variety of treatment options available, but this will be through a thorough discussion of the effectiveness of each treatment. After the selection process, the MS nurse will support Karen in nursing administration, a fact that both Geoff and Lisa cannot improve. There is a need also to establish repeated coaching and follow-up, and the nurses will impact this positively because of cognitive issues as exposed by Karen. Some adverse events such as overworking will impact negatively on Karen’s health, and the nurse will act as a negotiation to ensure that Karen does minimal work and her sister, and another appointed assistance will henceforth help in the process (Burke et al., 2011).


Burke, T., Dishon, S., McEwan, L., & Smrtka, J. (2011). The evolving role of the multiple sclerosis nurse: an international perspective. International journal of MS care13(3), 105-112.

Guise, J. M., Chang, C., Viswanathan, M., Glick, S., Treadwell, J., Umscheid, C. A., … & Anderson, J. (2014). Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Evidence-based Practice Center methods for systematically reviewing complex multicomponent health care interventions. Journal of clinical epidemiology67(11), 1181-1191.

McKenzie, T., Quig, M. E., Tyry, T., Marrie, R. A., Cutter, G., Shearin, E., … & Simsarian, J. (2015). Care Partners and Multiple Sclerosis: Differential Effect on Men and Women. International journal of MS care17(6), 253-260.

Thompson, H. (2011). Nursing management of the patient with multiple sclerosis. Journal of Neuroscience Nursing43(6), 354-355.