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Perceived Need for Mental Health Care in MS

Mult Scler Relat Disord; ePub 2018 Jul 29; Orr, et al

One-third of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) identified a need for mental health care, a recent study found. Symptoms of anxiety and depression, but not current diagnosed mental health disorders, were the predominant factors associated with a reported need for care. Participants with MS (n=251; mostly women, Caucasian, with post-secondary education, with a mean [SD] age at enrollment of 50.9 [12.9] years) completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale [HADS] to assess severity of depression and anxiety symptoms, and reported whether they perceived a need for mental health care, in the context of a larger study examining the burden of psychiatric disorders in immune-mediated inflammatory disease. Participants were also evaluated using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID) to diagnose depression or anxiety disorders. Researchers found:

  • Nearly one-quarter of participants had a current SCID diagnosis of depression or anxiety (n=57, 22.7%).
  • Overall, 31.8% (n=80) of participants reported a need for mental health care.
  • Those identifying need for mental health care also had an earlier age of MS symptom onset.

Orr J, Bernstein CN, Graff LA, et al. Factors associated with perceived need for mental health care in multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print July 29, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.07.043.