Perceived stress in multiple sclerosis: the potential role of mindfulness in health and well-being

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2014 Apr;19(2):104-11. doi: 10.1177/2156587214523291. Epub 2014 Feb 20.


Stressful life events are associated with worsening neurological symptoms and decreased quality of life in multiple sclerosis (MS). Mindful consciousness can alter the impact of stressful events and has potential to improve health outcomes in MS. This study evaluated the relationship between trait mindfulness and perceived stress, coping, and resilience in people with MS. Quality of life was assessed as a secondary outcome. One hundred nineteen people with confirmed MS completed the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Scale, Brief Coping Orientation for Problem Experiences, Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, and Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36. Greater trait mindfulness was significantly associated with decreased psychological stress, better coping skills, increased resilience, and higher quality of life. After investigators controlled for confounders, mindfulness accounted for 25% of the variation in perceived stress scores and 44% of the variation in resilience scores. Results support further investigation of mindfulness training to enhance psychological resilience and improve well-being for those living with MS.

Keywords: coping; multiple sclerosis; psychosocial; quality of life; resilience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Quality of Life
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*