Social capital components and social support of persons with multiple sclerosis: a systematic review of the literature from 2000 to 2018

Eleni Koutsogeorgou, Antonio M. Chiesi, Matilde Leonardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To identify experiences of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) in terms of social capital and its components (i.e., social networks, trust, and interpersonal relationships) and social support based on the current scientific knowledge. Methods: Systematic literature review was conducted through PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, and PsycINFO. Included articles were published from 2000 to 2018 and met specific selection criteria. Screening of records determined eligible studies for inclusion to data extraction and synthesis process. Results: A total of 551 abstracts were screened, of which 34 studies met all selection criteria. The themes that emerged referred to the impact of physical and cognitive impairments on social functioning, stigma, psychosocial, emotional and mental challenges, association of quality of life with social capital components and social support, and contribution of social support to improvement of social functioning and health of persons with MS. Persons with MS face a series of issues regarding social support and social capital-related components, primarily facing psychological difficulties, difficulties with making and maintaining interpersonal relationships, and limitations for participating in social and daily activities due to the symptoms of MS, particularly fatigue. Conclusion: It appears that the ability to seek and maintain social relationships and to participate in social and daily activities is important for persons with MS. This has an impact on their quality of life, as well as on their health functioning, however issues around mobility and stigmatization of their condition hinder their social functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3437-3449
Number of pages13
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Volume42
Issue number24
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 19 2020

Keywords

  • multiple sclerosis
  • review literature
  • Social capital
  • social networks
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

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