Knowledge & Health Journal1735-577X8120130122Promotion of Illness Perception and it’s aspects in a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Peer Support Groups243010.1234/knh.v8i1.40FAMaryamJadidMilaniدانشگاه شاهد- دانشکده پرستاری و مامايی- عضو هيئت علمی. Illness perception is the beliefs that patients have about their illness and it influences patients’ decision for effective behavior to achieve positive results such as adapting with the disease and improving functionality. Since there are no studies about illness perception of MS in Iran, the present study aims to evaluate the impact of peer group on illness perception level in patients with MS.Methods: This was a quasi-experimental before-and-after design research that was conducted on 33 patients with MS in three supporting peer groups (10 participants in men group, 11 in women group, and 12 in the mixed group). The participants attended two-hour sessions for eight weeks. Illness perception level in patients was assessed before and after the formation of groups by the "Revised Illness Perception Questionnaire (IPQ-R)” whose Cranbach’s alpha coefficient was 0.80. Results: The results showed that although the mean score of the patients’ illness perception increased, but it was not significant. Between three groups, attending peer support group increased illness perception in the mixed group (p=0.01). Conclusion: The findings of the present investigation asserted that participating in peer groups ends in augmentation of illness perception level in MS patients also, as social support create a feeling of belonging and thus may help sufferers of MS adapt better to life events then it would be beneficial to develop interventions for MS patients based on social support and illness perception. The obtained results of this study can be utilized in education of medical groups and clinical management.

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