Findings from a recent study demonstrate the importance of underlying mechanisms (eg, sleep quality and perceived stress) in the conceptualization of multiple sclerosis (MS). Perceived stress and sleep quality are potentially modifiable factors, however, perhaps serving as a target for future treatment, to buffer risk of MS patients developing depression. Researchers aimed to explore perceived stress and sleep deficits as potential mediators of the association between perceived cognitive deficits and depressive symptoms. They recruited a sample of 77 MS participants from an outpatient, university-based MS clinic in the US. Participants ranged in age between 30 and 75 years (M=51.12; SD=9.6), with more females than males (83% female; n=64). They completed the Perceived Deficits Questionnaire, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale –Revised. Researchers found:
- Statistical analyses revealed that higher levels of perceived cognitive deficits were associated with lower quality of sleep, more perceived stress, and higher levels of depressive symptoms.
- Additionally, both perceived stress and sleep quality served as a significant mediator in the perceived cognitive impairments and depressive symptoms linkage.
Lamis DA, Hirsch JK, Pugh KC, et al. Perceived cognitive deficits and depressive symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis: Perceived stress and sleep quality as mediators. [Published online ahead of print July 26, 2018]. Mult Scler Relat Disord. doi:10.1016/j.msard.2018.07.019.
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