Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increasing Positive Experiences Decreases Depression Symptoms In Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

Date:
April 8, 2008
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Depression is prevalent among people living with chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Although most people with MS live normal lives, they must manage symptoms and treatments that cause increased emotional and psychological stress on a daily basis. Now, researchers have found that people with MS who increase positive experiences decrease their symptoms of depression and improve the overall quality of their lives.

Depression is prevalent among people living with chronic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Although most people with MS live normal lives, they must manage symptoms and treatments that cause increased emotional and psychological stress on a daily basis. Now, researchers from two universities have found that people with MS who increase positive experiences decrease their symptoms of depression and improve the overall quality of their lives.

As part of an ongoing NIH-funded study of people with MS, Alexa Stuifbergen, professor of nursing and associate dean of research at The University of Texas at Austin, and Lorraine Phillips, assistant professor in the University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing, determined the extent to which positive experiences influenced the health of people with MS. The researchers found that a higher number of positive experiences was associated with fewer symptoms of depression, fewer functional limitations, and better quality of life in people with MS.

“Positive experiences significantly affected the participants’ perceptions of the quality of their lives and symptoms of depression, even when taking into account age, education and disease-related factors, such as mobility, vision and cognition,” Phillips said. “People with MS typically rate the quality of their lives lower than that of the general population, so it is important for people with MS and clinicians involved in their care to understand what factors may improve the quality of their lives.”

Study participants recorded the frequency of positive experiences in their lives, such as “I said ‘thank you’ and meant it,” “I said something pleasant to someone who didn’t expect it,” and “I exercised and felt good about doing it.” Phillips found that study participants who reported a higher number of positive experiences also reported having lower levels of symptoms of depression.

“By incorporating positive experiences or behaviors into their lives, people with MS may be able to limit the additional risks and costs of medical treatments for depression. Most of these positive activities are extremely simple to perform and readily available.” Phillips said. “Health care providers should encourage people with MS to participate in positive activities every day. Previous research found that people with MS benefit more from frequent smaller activities like smelling fresh flowers, talking with neighbors or writing letters, than they do from larger activities like taking a week-long vacation or buying an expensive outfit that they can only do once in awhile.”

The study, “The Influence of Positive Experiences on Depression and Quality of Life in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis,” was published in the March 2008 issue of The Journal of Holistic Nursing.

“The current study was prompted by a suggestion from one of the participants in the NIH-funded study. She helped us to develop the survey, which has 35 items that describe activities that could improve mental or physical health,” Phillips said. “That’s the beauty of this tool. These activities can be adopted by people with other chronic illnesses.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Increasing Positive Experiences Decreases Depression Symptoms In Patients With Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408163239.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2008, April 8). Increasing Positive Experiences Decreases Depression Symptoms In Patients With Multiple Sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408163239.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Increasing Positive Experiences Decreases Depression Symptoms In Patients With Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408163239.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins