Objective This study was concerned with examining the coping and psychological adjustment of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and determining how they were different in these dimensions from people from the general population. The role of severity and duration of illness as well as levels of social support on coping style and adjustment were also evaluated.
Method The participants were 381 (144 men, 237 women) people with MS and 291 (101 men, 190 women) people from the general population.
Results The results demonstrated that people with MS (particularly men) were less likely to adopt coping styles related to problem solving and seeking support and demonstrated poorer levels of adjustment on all dimensions. Adopting a wishful thinking coping style, as well as a lack of problem-focused coping or failure to seek social support, was also more likely to be associated with poorer psychological adjustment for both men and women with MS. Levels of health impairment were only minimally related to psychological adjustment, particularly for men.
Discussion These findings highlight the importance of developing educational programs that include strategies to adopt more problem-focused coping strategies, so that people with MS can more readily adjust to their illness.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology