The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of symptoms of depression and anxiety amongst multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, and the associations with demographic and clinical characteristics. The current treatment for depression and anxiety was also evaluated amongst the MS patients.
A total of 140 MS patients from Eastern Norway underwent neuropsychiatric and clinical examinations, with registration of symptoms of depression and anxiety (Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25), as well as information about any help seeking for depression were obtained.
A total of 31.4% patients reported symptoms of depression, whilst 19.3% reported anxiety; both symptoms were significantly higher than that amongst the general population (P < 0.001). Fatigue and younger age at onset were significantly associated with symptoms of depression, whilst fatigue and pain, lower Expanded Disability Status Scale score and younger age at onset were associated with symptoms of anxiety. The proportion of reported treatment of depression was 15.9% and for anxiety 11.1%. Of untreated patients with symptoms, 18.2% expressed the need for treatment.
A greater focus on depression and anxiety amongst MS patients is needed to establish the appropriate treatment for patients suffering from MS.