Effect of Multiple Sclerosis on Daily Activities, Emotional Well-being, and Relationships: The Global vsMS Survey

Int J MS Care. 2020 Jul-Aug;22(4):158-164. doi: 10.7224/1537-2073.2018-087. Epub 2019 Aug 28.


Background: The vsMS survey was conducted to better understand the negative effects of fatigue, cognitive impairment, emotional burden, and decreased physical functioning on the personal, professional, and social lives of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: The vsMS survey was an online survey conducted in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States that assessed the impact of MS on individuals' daily activities, emotional well-being, relationships, and employment.

Results: The survey included 1075 participants with relapsing-remitting MS. Almost 42% of participants reported that their ability to perform and manage daily activities had worsened during the previous 2 years. More than 50% reported limitations in daily activities due to fatigue, physical weakness, problems with balance/coordination, heat/cold sensitivity, memory problems, numbness/tingling, trouble concentrating, impaired movement/muscle stiffness, and impaired sleeping. Participants also reported a negative effect on emotional and social factors, including self-esteem, general outlook, well-being, maintaining/starting relationships, ability to progress in their career/keep their job, and ability to cope with life roles.

Conclusions: These data highlight the importance of addressing the impact of MS and the social and emotional disease burdens on daily activities when planning the care of patients with MS.

Keywords: Activities of daily living (ADLs); Health-related quality of life (HRQOL); Multiple sclerosis (MS); Relapsing-remitting MS; Well-being.