Staying together: the role of social integration on the health and psychological well-being of people with multiple sclerosis

This article was originally published here

Health social care community. 2022 Mar 24. doi:10.1111/hsc.13800. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

Research indicates that people with multiple sclerosis (MS) are more likely to report poorer health and well-being than their peers without MS. Fortunately, an individual’s social and lifestyle factors are also known to play a big role in maintaining and promoting their overall health and well-being. The present study aimed to examine the role that social integration and social support, in particular, have on psychological health and well-being (PWB) in people with MS. One hundred and eighty-three people with MS completed measures of social and lifestyle factors, personality, physical and mental health, MS symptomatology and PWB. Cross-sectional regression analyzes were conducted to determine the role of social factors and other lifestyle factors (eg, diet/exercise) on health and PWB. A subset of this sample (108) completed a follow-up assessment. Longitudinal analyzes of this sample were also performed. Consistent with previous findings, the presence of social integration and social support were significant predictors of health and PWB even when controlling for other lifestyle factors (i.e. age, education, relationship status) and personality. The role of social integration and support on health and PTB is well established. The current results confirmed these associations in people with MS. These results suggest that social integration and social support should be a crucial component of MS management and that further interventional studies aimed at improving social integration and reducing social isolation are warranted with the aim of promote and maintain general health and well-being.

PMID:35322484 | DOI: 10.1111/hsc.13800

About Michael G. Walter

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