Subjective Well-Being Differs With Age in Multiple Sclerosis: A Brief Report

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Abstract

Objective: Increased age is associated with improved subjective well-being in the general population. However, there are conflicting findings regarding this association in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). In the present study, we examined differences in depression and quality of life (QOL) among 3 age groups of individuals with MS. Method: Participants consisted of 57 individuals with MS who were divided into 3 age groups: 35–44, 45–54, and 55–65 years. Outcome measures included the Mood and Evaluative scale t scores on the Chicago Multiscale Depression Inventory (CMDI) and the Physical and Mental scale scores on the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Instrument (MSQOL-54). Results: After controlling for disease duration, individuals in the oldest group reported significantly less severe depressive symptoms and better physical QOL than the youngest group. Conclusions: Results are consistent with theoretical predictions and observations of improved subjective well-being with age in the general population. Younger individuals with MS may be at higher risk for depression and poor QOL. Additional research is needed to model the findings in larger samples and clarify the theoretical mechanisms of the observed associations.

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