Uncertainty in Illness and Optimism in Couples With Multiple Sclerosis

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Abstract

We examined relationships among uncertainty in illness, optimism, symptom severity, and depression in 18 individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and their partners. Participants are part of an ongoing study in which they complete assessments every 3 months for approximately 1 year. Preliminary analyses indicate some similarities as well as some differences in responses between individuals with MS and their partners. Specifically, results indicated a very strong positive correlation between patients' and partners' levels of uncertainty regarding the illness. Differences in responding were evident when comparing levels of depression with uncertainty. Levels of depression in patients positively related to levels of uncertainty in their partners. Preliminary results also suggest negative correlations between patients' levels of optimism and levels of uncertainty in both partners. Future analyses will focus on whether these relationships remain constant over time.