Perceived health status in multiple sclerosis patients

(2009) Martina Chylova - Krokavcova

Promotor: Prof. Dr. J.W. Groothoff

Copromotor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. J.P. van Dijk, Dr. L.J. Middel, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Z. Gdovinova, Dr. I. Nagyova


Dissertation Krokavcova This study on Multiple Sclerosis focuses on the use of the physical and mental health dimensions of self perceived health measured by the SF-36 that are linked to clinical data and psychosocial factors. A review of the articles described that the more disabled and older the MS patients, the poorer their perceived health status was and the more depressed the patients, the worse their perceived health status was. MS patients who reported good self rated health were more likely to be employed, less disabled and less anxious. Furthermore, social support from significant others is positively associated with their physical health status, while social support from family and friends was found to have more positive consequences on the mental health status in MS patients. Mastery is a meaningful variable determining perceived health status, especially in MS patients of 45 years and over. The role of depression was present with regard to perceived health status, mainly to perceived physical health status in the older group and to perceived mental health status in the younger one. The role of anxiety was more important in younger MS patients than among older patients with regard to their perceived health status. Supporting social ties and relationships between MS patients and others are very important. Furthermore, health care professionals` education and counselling in supporting the coping strategies of MS patients are essential for good patient management.