The association between executive functioning, coping styles and depressive symptoms in patients with Multiple Sclerosis

C Van Heugten, S Köhler, M Francke, Y Bol*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the direct, mediated and moderated relationships between executive functioning, coping and depressive symptoms in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS: Cross-sectional cohort study of routine follow-up visits, including a standardized (neuro)psychological evaluation of 68 MS patients. Coping was measured with the Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations; Depressive symptoms with the subscale depression of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Cognitive tests were reduced to a single 'executive function' factor by means of confirmatory factor analysis. Path analyses tested mediating and moderating effects of coping on the relation between executive functioning and depressive symptoms.

RESULTS: Consistently, the executive functioning factor was not related to task-oriented and emotion-oriented coping. Better executive functioning, however, and less reliance on avoidance coping, was related to more depressive symptoms. Testing of the mediating path showed that executive dysfunctioning was indeed significantly related to more depressive symptoms by less reliance on avoidance coping. There was no additional direct effect of executive functioning on depressive symptoms and also no moderating effect of any coping style on the association between cognition and depressive symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that task-oriented and emotion-oriented coping do not influence the relationship between executive functioning and depression in MS patients, but their mental health might benefit from more reliance on avoidance coping.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101392
Number of pages6
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Volume36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Keywords

  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Coping styles
  • Depression
  • Executive functioning
  • FATIGUE SEVERITY SCALE
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION
  • HOSPITAL ANXIETY
  • IMPAIRMENT
  • VALIDITY
  • DISABILITY
  • EDUCATION
  • DEFICITS

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