Making Sense of Multiple Sclerosis

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ObjectiveIn this study, the aim was to examine the dimensional structure of a multi-item measure of sense making in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to investigate relations between sense making and both positive and negative adjustment outcomes.MethodParticipants were 408 persons with MS and 232 caregivers. Questionnaires were completed at the initial assessment (Time 1) and 12 months later (Time 2).ResultsFactor analysis of the Sense Making Scale (SMS) revealed 6 psychometrically sound factors: Redefined Life Purpose, Acceptance, Spiritual Perspective, Luck, Changed Values and Priorities, and Causal Attribution. Results of regression analyses indicated that the Time 2 SMS factors accounted for significant amounts of variance in each of the Time 2 adjustment outcomes (life satisfaction, positive states of mind, anxiety, depression, caregiver adjustment rating of the care receiver), after controlling for Time 1 adjustment and relevant demographic and illness variables.ConclusionsFindings delineate the dimensional structure of sense making in MS and the differential links between sense making dimensions and adjustment and have implications for the measurement of sense making.

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