Factors affecting anxiety in multiple sclerosis.Disabil Rehabil 2012; 34(24):2047-52DR
Anxiety is common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Little is known about the factors related to anxiety. The aim was to identify factors associated with the presence of anxiety.
This was a cohort study. Participants were sent questionnaires to measure factors potentially related to anxiety. The factors included disability, depression, self-efficacy, locus of control, general stress, psychological distress and factors specific to MS. Participants with significant levels of anxiety, as measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), were compared to those who were not anxious.
Of the 157 participants who took part, 89 (57%) were clinically anxious. Participants who were anxious had a lower level of self-efficacy (p < 0.001), higher level of disability (p < 0.001), higher level of depression (p < 0.001) and higher level of stress (p < 0.001). The regression analysis showed that experiencing depression (χ(2) = 5.05, OR = 1.32, p < 0.05) was the only factor that significantly predicted whether someone was anxious or not, accounting for 46% of the variance.
There was a high prevalence of anxiety in people with MS. Depression, low levels of self-efficacy, disability and stress increased the likelihood of experiencing anxiety.