Use of coping strategies in multiple sclerosis:Association with demographic and disease-related characteristics

, TONiC study group (2019) Use of coping strategies in multiple sclerosis:Association with demographic and disease-related characteristics. Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 27. pp. 214-222. ISSN 2211-0348

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Background: Coping positively and negatively influences psychosocial and other outcomes in multiple sclerosis (MS), but there is conflicting evidence about the use of different coping strategies and their associations with demographic and disease characteristics. Our aims were to examine which coping strategies are used by a large sample of people with MS, then to identify any associations between demographic and disease related factors with use of individual coping strategies. Methods: Participants in the Trajectories of Outcomes in Neurological Conditions (TONiC) study completed the Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced (COPE60) questionnaire. Relationships between demographic and clinical characteristics and coping strategies were examined by multiple ordinal logistic regression to assess the effect of each potential predictor after adjustment for other possible covariates. Results: From 722 patients, the most commonly used strategy was Acceptance, followed by Active Coping, Planning and Positive Reinterpretation and Growth. All but two strategies showed significant associations with demographic and clinical characteristics. The most marked effects were found for Restraint, with people in employment 2.1 times as likely to utilise this strategy compared to those unemployed, and Seeking of Emotional Social Support and Focus on and Venting of Emotions, which were utilised twice as much by women compared to men. Behavioural and Mental Disengagement were highly associated with greater disability and not being in employment. Conclusion: Clinicians should be aware of several disease and demographic characteristics that are associated with use of potentially maladaptive coping strategies.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 27, 2019 DOI: 10.1016/j.msard.2018.10.016
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22 Jan 2019 16:35
Last Modified:
06 Jun 2022 23:47