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MS Patients Often Suffer Depression and Other Symptoms Within First Year of Diagnosis

August 1, 2017

An Italian study found that multiple sclerosis (MS) patients in the first year of diagnosis frequently suffer from depression, pre-morbid personality, self-perception issues, and other psychological problems. However, it is hard to predict the degree of symptoms since MS is different for each individual. The study, “The first year after diagnosis: psychological impact on people with multiple sclerosis,” appeared in the journal Psychology, Health and Medicine.

Researchers at Italy’s San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan conducted an analysis of the psychological changes in patients with MS. The study included 38 newly-diagnosed MS patients. Researchers looked at anxiety, depression, impact of diagnosis, problem-solving difficulties, fearfulness, obsessions, compulsions, personality, and quality of life. The patients were asses using: Åsberg Depression Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory-II, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Psychophysiological Questionnaire-Revised, Fear Survey Schedule, Maudsley Obsessional-Compulsive Questionnaire, Impact of Event Scale-Revised, Personal Meaning Questionnaire, Problem Solving Inventory and Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life. Results showed that about 40% of patients showed “depressive symptomology” and 65.8% dealt with their MS diagnosis by simply avoiding it. Quality of life questionnaires also demonstrated that patients’ self-perception and psychological well-being had changed. So, too, did their perceptions of health unrelated to the neurological issue.