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Ekhlas Al Gamal
King Saud Bin Abd Al Aziz University for Health Sciences, KSA
Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, neurodegenerative autoimmune disease affecting both the brain and spinal cord. This includes numbness, fatigue, visual disturbances, decreased coordination, spasticity, and bladder and bowel dysfunction, speech and swallowing difficulties, heat sensitivity, cognitive impairment, sexual dysfunction, and physical weakness. The objective of this study was to examine the association between depression level and perceived social support among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional, descriptive, correlational design was used with 140 patients. Self-reporting questionnaires were used. The age range of the participants was 18–59 years (mean 34.3 years, SD 7.69). The mean score for reported depression was 27.5 which is considered as moderate level of depression. The mean score of the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) was 45.3 (SD = 16.2). Patients with MS who received higher level of social support exhibits lower level of depression. In conclusion, a side from addressing physiological needs, healthcare providers must ensure that patients with MS receive positive social support to decrease level of depression.
Ekhlas Al Gamal is an Associate Professor in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing at College of Nursing, King Saud Bin Abd Al Aziz University for Health Sciences, KSA. Her research interests include Psychological impacts of patients and caregivers living with chronic illnesses.