Daily hassles reported by Dutch multiple sclerosis patients

National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Wagenstraat 25, 3142 CR Maassluis, The Netherlands.
Journal of the neurological sciences (Impact Factor: 2.47). 07/2012; 320(1-2):85-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2012.06.023
Source: PubMed


There is growing evidence for the association between stress and relapse risk in multiple sclerosis (MS). The current study focuses on daily hassles, which by their chronic and accumulating nature can cause considerable psychosocial stress. The main aim was to investigate the frequency, associated distress and type of daily hassles encountered by Dutch MS patients from a large community-based sample. We further examined factors associated with high levels of psychosocial stress. Questionnaires concerning demographics, disease characteristics, physical functioning, daily hassles, fatigue, depression and anxiety were completed by 718 MS patients. Three patients younger than 18 were excluded, resulting in 715 patients. Compared with published norm data, more than 50% of the participants reported a high number of daily hassles (57.5%) and high levels of associated distress (55.7%). Frequently mentioned daily hassles concern personal functioning and social developments. A logistic regression model revealed that being female, being younger, having a higher educational level, using benzodiazepines, exhibiting more symptoms of anxiety, and a higher physical impact of fatigue were all independently associated with high levels of psychosocial stress. Our findings may alert clinicians of the high prevalence and impact of daily hassles in MS and underline the need to incorporate stress and anxiety management strategies in (psycho)therapeutic interventions.

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Available from: Karin Van der Hiele, Aug 01, 2014
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    • "Few studies have focussed on work participation in patients with a relatively recent diagnosis of MS. The current study is based on data collected for a large community-based study on cognitive and psychological problems in patients with MS [14] [15]. In this pilot study on work participation in MS, we examined differences in self-reported physical abilities, cognitive functioning, depression, anxiety and fatigue in recently diagnosed relapsing-remitting MS patients with and without paid employment. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundUp to 30% of recently diagnosed MS patients lose their jobs in the first four years after diagnosis. Taking into account the personal and socio-economic importance of sustaining employment, it is of the utmost importance to examine factors involved with work participation.ObjectiveTo investigate differences in self-reported functioning in recently diagnosed MS patients with and without a paid job.MethodsSelf-reports of physical and cognitive functioning, depression, anxiety and fatigue were gathered from 44 relapsing-remitting MS patients diagnosed within 3 years.ResultsPatients with a paid job (57%) reported better physical functioning (p<0.001), better memory functioning (p = 0.01) and a lower physical impact of fatigue (p = 0.018) than patients without a paid job. Physical functioning was the main predictor of employment status in a logistic regression model. In those with a paid job better memory functioning (r = 0.54, p = 0.005) and a lower social impact of fatigue (r = −0.46, p = 0.029) correlated with an increased number of working hours.ConclusionBetter physical functioning is the primary factor involved with increased work participation in early MS. Better self-reported memory functioning and less social fatigue were associated with increased working hours. These findings highlight the importance of battling these symptoms in the early stages of MS.
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