Patient expression of emotions and neurologist responses in first multiple sclerosis consultations

Lidia Del Piccolo, Erika Pietrolongo, Davide Radice, Carla Tortorella, Paolo Confalonieri, Maura Pugliatti, Alessandra Lugaresi, Andrea Giordano, Christoph Heesen, Alessandra Solari, J. Drulovic, J. Kasper, S. Köpke, A. Van Nunen, L. Degner, W. Gaissmaier, C. Goss, G. Ferrari, C. Antozzi, D. FarinaV. Piscedda, M. Trojano, D. Paolicelli, I. Backhus, J. Poettgen, M. Pirard, A. Symons, L. Vahter, K. Kannel, M. Clanet, F. Viala, T. Pekmezovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anxiety and depression are common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), but data on emotional communication during MS consultations are lacking. We assessed patient expressions of emotion and neurologist responses during first-ever MS consultations using the Verona Coding Definitions of Emotional Sequences (VR-CoDES). Methods: We applied VR-CoDES to recordings/transcripts of 88 outpatient consultations (10 neurologists, four MS Italian centers). Before consultation, patients completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Multilevel sequential analysis was performed on the number of cues/concerns expressed by patients, and the proportion of reduce space responses by neurologists. Results: Patients expressed 492 cues and 45 concerns (median 4 cues and 1 concern per consultation). The commonest cues were verbal hints of hidden worries (cue type b, 41%) and references to stressful life events (type d, 26%). Variables independently associated with number of cues/concerns were: anxiety (HADS-Anxiety score >8) (incidence risk ratio, IRR 1.08, 95% CI 1.06-1.09; p

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0127734
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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