Disability, Social Support, and Concern for Children: Depression in Mothers With Multiple Sclerosis

Authors

  • Tracie Harrison RN, CS, MSN, FNP,

    Corresponding author
    1. Alexa Stuifbergen is a professor and associate dean for research in the School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin.
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  • Alexa Stuifbergen RN, PhD, FAAN

    1. Tracie Harrison is a doctoral student in the School of Nursing, The University of Texas at Austin.
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Address for correspondence: Tracie Harrison, RN, CS, MSN, FNP, P.O. Box 344, Thorndale, TX 76577. E-mail: traciec@tex1.net.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the relationship between disability, concern for children, social support, and depressive symptoms in a group of mothers with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Design: An exploratory secondary analysis using correlation and multiple regression techniques.

Setting and Participants: Two hundred one women with MS responded to a survey as part of a cohort participating in a longitudinal study of health promotion and quality of life.

Outcome Measures: Depressive symptoms were measured using the CESD-10.

Results: The results indicate that disability and concern for children are independent predictors of depressive symptoms, and social support can partially mediate the effect of concern for children on depressive symptoms.

Conclusion: Appropriate support should be identified and provided by nurses caring for mothers with disabilities such as MS to decrease the depressive symptoms related to the concern they have for their children.

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