Because multiple sclerosis (MS) is usually diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, a time during which most people begin serious relationships, dyadic adjustment for MS patients is a salient issue. However, little is known about factors that might contribute to dyadic adjustment problems in MS. In the present study, we predicted that MS patients showing evidence of three common sequelae of MS - depression symptoms, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction - would be most likely to display problems with dyadic adjustment. Sixty-four MS patients and 49 significant others were assessed. Patient-reported dyadic adjustment was significantly (P at least <0.05) associated with depression (r = -0.48) and fatigue (r = -0.31), but not cognitive functioning. Significant other-reported dyadic adjustment was significantly associated with patients' depression (r = -0.38), fatigue (r = -0.30) and executive functioning impairments (r = 0.37). Stepwise regression analyses revealed that depression was the only significant predictor of dyadic adjustment, regardless of whether significant other (r2 change =0.16) or patient-reported (r2 change = 0.22) dyadic adjustment was used as the criterion variable. If depression leads to dyadic problems in MS patients, treatment of depression may result in improved dyadic adjustment. Conversely, if dyadic problems contribute to depression in MS, then treatment of dyadic problems may lead to relief from depression in these patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology