Coping Strategies Affect Health-Related QoL, Clinical Outcomes in MS

Adaptation to multiple sclerosis (MS) depends on developing effective coping strategies, which facilitate adaptation and psychological well-being. A study assessed coping strategies among patients with MS and evaluated their correlation with clinical outcomes and health-related quality of life (QoL).

A nationwide, cross-sectional study on patients with MS in Argentina was conducted. Patients were screened for demographics, clinical data, coping strategies per the Brief Coping Orientation to Problems Experienced, health-related QoL per the MS Impact Scale (MSIS-29), fatigue per the Fatigue Severity Scale, and physical disability per the self-administered Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).

A total of 249 patients with MS responded to the survey. Three-quarters of patients with MS were female (74.7%). Mean age at the time of the survey was 38.6 ± 10.7years, MS duration was 7.3 years (range, 1-43 years), and EDSS was 1.9 ± 1.8.

Factors associated with the use of maladaptive coping strategies were younger age, active MS, and higher fatigue; MSIS-29 total, MSIS-physical, and MSIS-psychological scores; and higher scores for perception of severity of MS and wheelchair dependency.

After applying multivariate analysis per linear regression, independent predictors of utilizing maladaptive coping strategies were active MS, MSIS-psychological score, high education level, and EDSS.

“Maladaptive coping strategies used by patients with MS are associated with relevant clinical aspects of the disease and with worse health-related QoL scores,” the researchers concluded.