Depression and quality of life in multiple sclerosis

Acta Neurol Scand. 2001 Nov;104(5):257-61. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0404.2001.00022.x.


Objectives: Health related quality of life (QoL) has gained increasing influence as a relevant evaluation criterion in multiple sclerosis. The high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidity in MS is, however, hardly ever considered in studies concerning QoL.

Materials and methods: In 60 patients of a MS outpatient clinic, symptoms of anxiety (Zung Anxiety Scale) and depression (Zung Depression Scale), as well as the health-related quality of life were rated and set into relation to the EDSS and to the duration of illness, respectively.

Results: There was a highly significant correlation between depression as well as anxiety and the self-assessed quality of life. Depression was the by far strongest predictor for reduced QoL.

Conclusion: Clinical studies, which seek to register the increasingly important evaluation criterion of health-related quality of life in MS, should consider the prevalence of depressive disorders and the decisive effect of depression on the self-assessed quality of life of affected patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / etiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Quality of Life*