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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.
Citation:

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.

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