Chapter

Health Issues in Women with Multiple Sclerosis

pp 63-72

Date:

Reproductive Issues in Multiple Sclerosis: Parental MS and Child Outcomes (The Research Perspective)

  • Neda RazazAffiliated withSchool of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia Email author 
  • , K. S. JosephAffiliated withSchool of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • , Ruth Ann MarrieAffiliated withDepartments of Internal Medicine and Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba
  • , Helen TremlettAffiliated withDivision of Neurology, Centre for Brain Health and Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaVancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

Approximately 10% of children live in households where a parent has a chronic illness and many children are exposed to a parent coping with a potentially disabling chronic condition, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). The disease course of MS is largely unpredictable. The uncertainty over future disability constitutes a potential threat to a patient’s mental health and makes MS a particularly challenging illness. Furthermore, due to an array of potential health effects, including physical and cognitive disability, and the caregiving tasks MS imposes on the family members, the disease may compromise parenting and cause considerable stress and anxiety on patients and their families. Indeed, childhood anxiety is a common factor identified in the sparse literature examining children of parents with MS. Few studies have shown that children with an MS parent are at risk for adjustment disorders, particularly internalizing difficulties, which could cause depressive disorders later in life. Nevertheless, not all such experiences result in negative impacts: studies have associated parental chronic illness, such as MS, with positive outcomes such as pro-social behavior and higher personal competence.