Emotional stress and coping in multiple sclerosis (MS) exacerbations

J Psychosom Res. 1991;35(1):37-47. doi: 10.1016/0022-3999(91)90005-9.


Ninety-five pairs of MS patients in exacerbation and remission were compared on emotional stress in the previous three months. Patients in exacerbation scored higher on emotional disturbance and intensity of stressful events than patients in remission, but lower on frequency of compensating uplifts. There was also a tendency for more patients in exacerbation than remission to favour emotion-focused coping techniques over problem-solving or social support. Whether patients building to an exacerbation over-react to various events or unresolved emotional stress precipitates exacerbations, MS patients might benefit from counselling in stress reduction techniques.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Arousal*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Personality Tests
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sick Role*
  • Stress, Psychological / complications*