Emotional outcomes in clinically isolated syndrome and early phase multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

on the behalf of the RADAR-CNS Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To study depression, anxiety, suicide risk, and emotional health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in people with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) and in early phase multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted with inclusion criteria of observational studies on outcomes of depression, anxiety, suicide risk, and emotional HRQoL in CIS and within five years since diagnosis of MS. Studies were screened using the Preferred Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) guidelines, and study quality was determined for included studies. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were performed if applicable. Results: Fifty-one studies were included in the systematic review. In early phase MS, meta-analyses of the Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) indicated prevalence levels of 17% (95% confidence interval (CI): 9 to 25%; p < .001) for depressive and 35% (95% CI: 28 to 41%; p < .001) for anxiety symptoms. Meta-regression analyses revealed an increase in mean HADS-D and HADS-A associated with larger sample size, and higher HADS-D mean with increased study quality. Similar depressive and anxiety symptoms were observed in CIS, and increased suicide risk and low emotional HRQoL was associated with depressive symptoms in early phase MS. The methodological quality of the studies was considered fair. Conclusions: Findings suggest that mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety might be prevalent in CIS and in early phase MS. Future research on both clinical populations are needed, especially longitudinal monitoring of emotional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109761
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Research
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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