Coping strategies as related to medical and demographic data in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Montel Sébastien, Department of Psychology, University of Metz, UFR SHA, Ile du Saulcy, 57000 Metz, France
Tel.: +330387415979


Montel S, Albertini L, Spitz E. Coping strategies as related to medical and demographic data in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Acta Neurol Scand: 2012: 125: 135–141.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Introduction –  The aim of this study was to examine the coping strategies of 49 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their relationships with medical and demographic data.

Methods –  A total of 49 subjects were asked to fill out a document that would provide their demographic and medical data. Then, each one was asked to complete a questionnaire of coping strategies called the Brief COPE.

Results –  Regarding age groups, we noticed several significant differences concerning emotional support, venting, positive reframing, planning and humour. All these strategies were used significantly more often by younger patients. As for medical variables, the clinical form (bulbar vs spinal ALS), and participation or non-participation in a clinical trial proved to affect the coping style. The correlation analysis showed that disease duration was positively and significantly related to acceptance, positive reframing and humour. Only one significant correlation was observed between coping strategies and ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS) scores. It concerned blame, which was negatively correlated with ALSFRS scores.

Discussion –  Our study clearly demonstrated the relationships between coping strategies and medical as well as demographic variables. These results encourage us to develop further investigations to better understand these relationships and to offer better adapted psychological interventions for patients with ALS.