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Coping strategy and anxiety evolution in multiple sclerosis patients initiating interferon-beta treatment

Posted Jun 23 2009 5:49pm

summary: Different coping strategies have been described in people dealing with stressful situations. Symptoms of anxiety and depression may occur in a high percentage of people recently diagnosed with MS, especially if they are about to start treatment. In this article the authors aimed to investigate whether the levels of anxiety and depression in people recently diagnosed with MS and who were due to start disease modifying drugs were different depending on the specific coping strategy they followed.

They found that most people in the study chose a coping strategy consisting of obtaining information about the stressful situation (diagnosis and treatment) and dealing directly with the stressor (task-oriented strategy). Those people that chose a task-oriented strategy exhibited lower levels of anxiety compared to people who chose an emotion-oriented strategy (controlling all emotional issues related to the stressor) or an avoidance-oriented strategy (avoiding all kinds of confrontation). The authors concluded that understanding coping strategies may help health professionals to customise support and, in this case, increase adherence to treatment.

authors: Moreau T, Schmidt N, Joyeux O, Bungener C, Souvignet V

source: Eur Neurol. 2009 Jun 12;62(2):79-85

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