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Body Image Dissatisfaction in Patients with MS

Int J MS Care; ePub 2018 Nov 1; Stevens, et al

Persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) show approximately the same levels of body image dissatisfaction (BID) as the general population, according to a recent study. Higher BID was associated with being female and with higher body mass index (BMI), depression, and stigma. Researchers evaluated a sample of 151 patients diagnosed with MS receiving care at the Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for MS. After informed consent, the Body Shape Questionnaire was administered and demographic information was collected from medical charts. Data on MS-specific variables were collected via computerized testing. A 1-sample t-test, an independent-samples t-test, and a hierarchical linear regression were conducted. They found:

  • Average scores on BID were not significantly different from the population mean.
  • Patients with Moderate/Marked Concern were more likely to be female and had higher BMI values, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) scores, and Neuro-quality of life (NeuroQoL) Stigma T-scores.
  • There were no age differences.
  • No MS-specific variables significantly predicted BID.


Stevens SD, Thompson NR, and Sullivan AB. Prevalence and correlates of body image dissatisfaction in patients with multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print November 1, 2018]. Int J MS Care. doi:10.7224/1537-2073.2018-066.

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