Affective disorders impact on quality of life of multiple sclerosis patients

Simonetta D'Alisa, Silvia Baudo, Alessandro Mauro, Giacinta Miscio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: In the present study we investigated which factors impact on the quality of life (QoL) of MS patients, administering different scales to assess the neurological the emotional status and the health-related QoL (HR-QoL) of the patients. Methods: Seventy-five (55 females, 20 males) MS inpatients referring to our Department were recruited. Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), describing the neurological status, was administered by a neurologist. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS/A and HADS/D) and SF-36 for the HR-Qol, were self-administered by the patients. A decision tree structured statistical analysis (CART) was applied to identify with variables provided a predictive segregation of the data between different values of the classification variables: such variables were considered as predictor variables. Results: Considering the global SF-36 score as the dependent variable and age, gender, marital status, disease duration, EDSS, HADS/A and HADS/D as independent variables, the CART identified depression (HADS/D score) only, as the best predictor of QoL. The best model was a three terminal node tree. Depression explained a variance of about 45% for the global SF-36 score. Conclusions: In our sample of MS patients, only depression seemed to directly influence the QoL. Such finding is in agreement with previous studies reporting depression as the main factor impacting on HR-QoL of MS patients, and suggests that most aspects of HR-QoL are only weakly related to the traditional measures of neurological impairment. The strict correlation between depression and HR-QoL underlines the importance to consider affective disorders as a critical factor in the autoperception of the QoL in the MS patient, and their management a clinical priority.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-38
Number of pages2
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychology(all)


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