Vol 44, No 4 (2010)

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Quality of life and social support in patients with multiple sclerosis

Krystyna Jaracz1, Mikołaj Pawlak23, Krystyna Górna1, Błażeja Kołcz1, Dorota Wołoszyn1, Wojciech Kozubski4
DOI: 10.1016/S0028-3843(14)60295-4
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2010;44(4):358-365.

Abstract

Background and purpose

The aim of the study was to evaluate quality of life (QoL) in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients and to assess the relationship between QoL and social support taking into account key clinical factors and other socio-demographic variables.

Material and methods

Two hundred and ten MS patients (150 women and 60 men) aged between 21 and 59 years were evaluated; the MS group was compared with 108 healthy controls. QoL (MSQOL-54), disease severity (Expanded Disability Status State, EDSS), social support (Social Provisions Scale, SPS), mood (Beck Depression Inventory, BDI) and basic clinical and demographic data were assessed.

Results

Disease severity was mild (EDSS < 4) in 85% of patients, and depressive symptoms (BDI > 13) were present in 41% of patients. Mean physical health composite of MSQOL-54 was 53.6 ± 20.7 and mean mental health composite was 60.0 ± 19.8. MS patients scored significantly lower than healthy subjects. Mean SPS was 78.2 ± 10.9 (range, 6–96) which indicated high social support. In bivariate analysis, social support correlated significantly with the majority of MSQOL domains; in multivariate analysis, however, this relationship was not significant. Emotional well-being was the main predictor of QoL, in both physical and mental domains.

Conclusions

MS influences QoL but to a greater extent in the physical than the psychological domain. The role of social support in QoL is generally positive but its protective function may be weakened when interacting with other factors. Depression is the main predictor of QoL when adjusted for other factors. Thus, treatment of mood disturbances might significantly improve QoL in MS patients.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska