Health status, stress and life satisfaction in a community population with MS
Authors: Scott B. Patten, Jeanne V. A. Williams, Dina H. Lavorato, S. Berzins, Luanne M. Metz, and Andrew G. M. Bulloch
BACKGROUND: Community-based studies can describe health status and related variables in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) while avoiding biases introduced by help-seeking in specific clinical settings. OBJECTIVE: To describe general health status, stress perceptions and life satisfaction in people with MS, in comparison to those with other types of disabilities. MATERIALS & METHODS: The Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) was a post-censual survey conducted by Statistics Canada in association with the 2006 Canadian Census. PALS collected data from a random sample of n = 22,513 respondents identified as having health-related impairments. Frequencies and quartiles as well as mean values, along with associated 95% confidence intervals, were calculated in the analysis. RESULTS: PALS identified 245 individuals with MS. Health status, both perceived and when weighted for societal preference, was markedly lower than that of other disabled groups. No differences in self-perceived stress were seen. People with MS reported lower levels of satisfaction with their health but slightly higher levels of satisfaction with their family and friends. CONCLUSIONS: People with MS report lower levels of general health status and more impairment than those with other disabling conditions. Higher levels of satisfaction with friends and family may reflect psychological adaptation to the illness.
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