Author(s): Moore P, Hirst C, Harding KE, Clarkson H, Pickersgill TP,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The expression of clinically significant depression symptoms during and post multiple sclerosis (MS) relapse was investigated. The point prevalence of possible depression during a confirmed MS relapse and at 2 and 6months post-relapse was examined and the influence of disability on the time course of depression symptoms post-relapse determined. METHODS: 132 sequential patients were recruited from an open access relapse clinic. Clinical data including disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale: EDSS) and depression symptoms (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale depression subscale: HADS-D) were recorded at 0, 2 and 6months post-relapse. RESULTS: Prevalence of possible depression (HADS-D score of≥8) was 44.5\% during relapse, reducing to 29.2\% at 2months and 34.4\% at 6months post-relapse. HADS-D scores were significantly lower at follow-up than during relapse. Possible depression at relapse was significantly related to a higher likelihood of possible depression at 2month follow-up (OR 12.12) and improvement in EDSS was related to a lower likelihood (OR 0.51). EDSS at relapse (OR 1.47) and possible depression at relapse (OR 11.87) were significantly associated with possible depression 6months post-relapse. CONCLUSIONS: High rates of possible depression were observed during relapse. Although depression scores reduced significantly post-relapse, rates of possible depression at follow-ups remained high. The results suggest that although improvements in disability may influence depression symptoms over the short-term, once depression symptoms are elevated at relapse then depression symptoms become persistent. Further studies are required on the relationship between relapses and depression and whether targeted psychological interventions are beneficial. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Psychosom Res
and referenced in Journal of Multiple Sclerosis