Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and hopelessness: psychosocial factors

Soc Sci Med. 2002 Dec;55(12):2131-40. doi: 10.1016/s0277-9536(01)00356-2.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of psychosocial factors to the presence of hopelessness among patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Secondary cross-sectional analyses were conducted with data collected from 136 ALS patients. Primary research questions were examined using hierarchical multiple regression procedures. Results showed that health locus of control and purpose in life were significant predictors of hopelessness among ALS patients. Other factors, including socioeconomic and demographic variables, variables measuring length and severity of illness, and additional psychosocial variables (social support satisfaction and degree to which spiritual beliefs help to cope with ALS) were not significant predictors of hopelessness. Results are discussed in light of the benefit to ALS patients of psychosocial interventions in disease management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morale*
  • Philadelphia
  • Quality of Life
  • Research
  • San Francisco
  • Social Support*
  • Spirituality
  • United States
  • Washington