ObjectiveThis study was designed to determine the impact of an exacerbation in the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) on the mood and self-esteem of persons with MS over an 18-month period.MethodsParticipants were 243 (80 males and 163 females) persons with MS and 184 (56 males and 128 female) persons from the general population. Information was obtained about coping styles, mood, and self-esteem among all respondents at Time 1, Time 2 (6 months later), and Time 3 (18 months later).ResultsThe results demonstrated that both groups of persons with MS experienced poorer mood levels than the general population, with the exacerbation group showing the highest levels of anxiety and confusion. Coping strategies did not predict mood in either of the MS groups.ConclusionThe findings of this study demonstrate that persons with MS experience significant problems with their mood states. However, respondents need to be tracked over a longer period to further explore the role of coping strategies in the adjustment of persons with MS
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