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Psychosocial predictors of patient adherence to disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis

Authors Alosaimi FD, AlMulhem A, AlShalan H, Alqazlan M, Aldaif A, Kowgier M, Balasundaram J, Sockalingam S

Received 7 December 2016

Accepted for publication 7 February 2017

Published 9 March 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 513—518


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Fahad D Alosaimi,1 Alaa AlMulhem,2 Hanan AlShalan,2 Mohammad Alqazlan,3 Abdulgader Aldaif,4 Matthew Kowgier,5 Janooshsheya Balasundaram,6 Sanjeev Sockalingam6,7

1Department of Psychiatry, 2College of Medicine, King Saud University, 3Department of Mental Health, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, 4Department of Neurology, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; 5Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 6Centre for Mental Health, University Health Network, 7Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Objectives: Our aim was to identify the impact of psychosocial predictors, specifically relationship style, depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, cognitive impairment, and culture-specific disease beliefs, on treatment adherence for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.
Methods: In this cross-sectional observational study, patients from two MS clinics in Saudi Arabia completed self-reported questionnaires focused on MS treatment adherence, physical symptom burden, relationship style, cultural beliefs, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.
Results: A total of 163 MS patients participated, 81.6% of them were female, and the mean age of the patients was 31.6 years. Mean patient-reported adherence to their MS treatment regimen was 79.47%±25.26%. Multivariate linear regression analysis only identified patients’ belief that their MS was due to “supernatural” forces as being significantly negatively associated with MS medication adherence.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates the importance of cultural interpretations to MS medication adherence in comparison to psychosocial factors. Education and family involvement in the treatment planning may address this issue and warrant further research.

Keywords: multiple sclerosis, adherence, depression, attachment style, culture

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