The study aimed to describe the levels of depression, positive and negative affect, optimism and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in a group of recently diagnosed multiple sclerosis (MS) patients (up to 3 years since the diagnosis), taking into account gender, age, and disease duration differences, and to investigate the possible role of identity, sense of coherence (SOC), and self-efficacy in MS (SEMS) on patients’ depression, positive and negative affect, optimism, and HRQOL. The cross-sectional study involved 90 MS patients (61% women; age: M = 37, SD = 12) with an Expanded Disability Status Scale score between 1 and 4 (mild to moderate disability). Patients completed measures of depression (CESD-10), positive and negative affect (PANAS), optimism (LOT-R), HRQOL (SF-12), identity motives, SOC, and SEMS. Depression scores were near the cut-off level for clinically significant depressive symptoms, and negative affect was higher and HRQOL was lower than those in the general population. Women and younger patients reported better adjustment as time passes since the diagnosis. Results of multiple regressions indicated that higher SOC was related to higher mental health, lower negative affect and lower depression. Higher SEMS was predictive of greater positive affect and lower negative affect, whereas higher identity satisfaction was predictive of higher positive affect and optimism and lower depression. The results suggest the usefulness of addressing identity redefinition, SOC and self-efficacy in psychological interventions aimed at promoting patients’ adjustment to MS.
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The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score (Kurtzke 1983), the most widely used measure of disability in MS, is evaluated by a neurologist. The EDSS score varies between 1 and 10. In our study, the participants’ EDSS scores ranged between 1 (no disability) and 4 (autonomous, able to walk without aid or rest some 500 m, moderate neurological deficits in diverse functional systems), therefore representing patients with mild to moderate levels of disability.
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We thank all the patients of the CRESM (Regional Referral Multiple Sclerosis Centre) Torino, Italy, who participated in this study.
This study was funded by the Cosso Foundation, Pinerolo, Torino (Italy).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Calandri, E., Graziano, F., Borghi, M. et al. Depression, Positive and Negative Affect, Optimism and Health-Related Quality of Life in Recently Diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis Patients: The Role of Identity, Sense of Coherence, and Self-efficacy. J Happiness Stud 19, 277–295 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-016-9818-x
- Multiple sclerosis
- Health-related quality of life
- Positive and negative affect
- Sense of coherence