Loneliness in Multiple Sclerosis

  • Emotional Health
  • Published Mar 30, 2018

Why is this important to me?

Multiple sclerosis presents in a range and severity of symptoms which impact nearly all aspects of life. While we know about many physical symptoms, MS also has the ability to present as psychosocial implications. Many studies have delved into symptomatic depression and anxiety, but little is known about loneliness experienced by people living with MS.

This article will explain common factors associated with experiencing loneliness and its correlates, in people living with MS.


What is the objective of this study?

This article examines loneliness among people living with MS. By measuring the extent of the feeling of loneliness and its correlates, this study lends readers the opportunity to understand, manage, and improve the manifestation of loneliness in MS.


How did the authors study this issue?

 The authors collected data using self-reports of loneliness between a sample group of people living with MS and healthy adults. The samples were matched on age, gender, height, and weight, and then prompted to answer a 20-item questionnaire. Each individual response was scored which produced a single measure of the subject’s experience of loneliness.

The sample of participants with MS produced a significantly higher score for loneliness than the healthy adult sample. Results correlated high scores of loneliness with upper extremity function, social disability limitation, and personal disability limitations. Statistics also showed that the sample living with MS scored higher on loneliness in correlation with depression, cognitive fatigue, and psychosocial fatigue. 

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