Vol 57, No 6 (2023)
Research Paper
Published online: 2023-11-27

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Sense of happiness in Polish patients with multiple sclerosis

Waldemar Brola1, Małgorzata Szcześniak2, Maciej Wilski3, Marek Żak1, Piotr Sobolewski1, Marcin Wnuk4, Roman Ryszard Szałachowski2, Katarzyna Kapica-Topczewska5, Agata Czarnowska5, Joanna Tarasiuk5, Alina Kułakowska5, Beata Zakrzewska-Pniewska6, Katarzyna Kubicka-Bączyk7, Natalia Morawiec7, Monika Adamczyk-Sowa7, Adam Stępień8, Jacek Zaborski9, Halina Bartosik-Psujek10, Beata Lech11, Adam Perenc11, Małgorzata Popiel11, Anna Ratajczak12, Marcin Ratajczak12, Zdzisław Kroplewski2, Andrzej Potemkowski2
Pubmed: 38009502
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2023;57(6):484-491.


Introduction. Happiness is crucial to patient well-being and their acceptance of their disease. The aim of this study was to assess the sense of happiness in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS), compare it to the level of happiness in patients with other neurological conditions, and determine which factors affect the sense of happiness in PwMS.

Material and methods. Five hundred and eighty-nine PwMS and 145 control subjects (post-stroke patients with chronic pain syndromes and neuropathies) were included in the study. Due to the differences between the groups in terms of demographic variables, an adjusted group of PwMS (n = 145) was selected from the entire group of PwMS. All patients were assessed using the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ), the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SLS), and the Family APGAR Questionnaire. Based on regression analysis, the study examined which variables affected the level of happiness in the groups.

Results. Analysis of the OHQ scores showed that PwMS had a lower sense of happiness compared to the control group in the overall score [113.21 (25–42) vs. 119.88 (25–49), respectively; p = 0.031] and the subscales (OHQ subscale 1 — 54.52 vs. 57.84, respectively; p = 0.027; subscale 2 — 35.61 vs. 37.67; respectively; p = 0.044). Based on linear regression analysis, life satisfaction (β = 0.40; p < 0.001), positive orientation (β = 0.32; p < 0.001), and primary education (β = 0.08; p = 0.009) were the most significant predictors of a higher level of happiness in PwMS. Similar results were found in the control group.

Conclusions. The sense of happiness in PwMS was lower than in patients with other conditions. The most important factors influencing happiness included life satisfaction and positive orientation. Influencing these predictors should be the aim of psychological interventions, especially in patients with a reduced sense of happiness.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska