ms study participation

Do you or your partner have MS?

Serena is a student at the University of Limerick and is currently looking for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and their partner to take part in a study.

This study could help researchers and clinicians understand how to better support couples facing MS. You will be asked to take part in a joint interview together as a couple on Microsoft Teams and asked questions about your relationship, your experience of MS and how you cope.

Who am I?

My name is Serena. Working as a Psychologist in Clinical Training, I often hear the stories of my clients whose lives have been so deeply affected by MS. I have seen both the challenges and the triumphs that my clients, their partners and wider families face with an MS diagnosis. I have also witnessed the incredible strength and resilience from these same people, that they often didn’t know they had. It is also a disease that has affected several people close to me, so I know this is a very important area to research.

What we know from research

What we know is that for couples facing a chronic illness, there appears to be a strong association between how partners tend to cope. So when one partner copes well, the other tends to cope well, and vice versa. However, we do not know the specific detail about how this coping helps each member of the couple with MS.

Why this study?

As with all research, there are still many gaps in what we know- very few studies have considered couples joint experience of coping with MS. I hope that my research will help to fill this gap. This might help other researchers and healthcare professionals to understand how couples deal with MS together. I hope this will move us further towards more holistic support for people with MS and their partners right from the point of diagnosis.

How you can get involved!

If you would like to get involved- we are currently looking for couples to take part in a joint interview, that will take about 60 minutes. We would hope to have a discussion about your experiences of MS and how you cope together. For example, some interview questions will ask about how MS has made your relationship more tricky or challenging; how MS has strengthened your relationship; the effect of MS on intimacy; how you see life in the future. We will then invite you to complete a short individual interview for about 10 minutes.

Your help with this study would be greatly appreciated. More information is available at

Project Investigator Contact Details

If you wish to get involved or want more information, please contact Serena Carberry at or phone +353861958222

This research is supervised by Professor Donal G. Fortune, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Limerick. This study has been approved by the research ethics committee of the University of Limerick, and is supported by MS Ireland.