Managing psychological stress in the multiple sclerosis medical visit: Patient perspectives and unmet needs

December 19, 2014
Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCR

Senders, A., Sando, K., Wahbeh, H., Peterson, A., & Shinto, L. (2015). Managing psychological stress in the MS medical visit: A qualitative analysis of patient perspectives and unmet needs. Integrative Medicine Research, 4(1), 93.


Psychological stress can negatively impact multiple sclerosis. To further understand how stress is addressed in the multiple sclerosis medical visit, 34 people with multiple sclerosis participated in focus groups. Transcripts were analyzed by inductive thematic analysis. The majority of participants did not discuss stress with their provider, citing barriers to communication such as lack of time, poor coordination between specialties, physician reliance on pharmaceutical prescription, and patient lack of self-advocacy. Participants recommended several ways to better manage psychological well-being in the clinical setting. These findings provide a foundation for future studies aimed at minimizing the detrimental effect of stress in multiple sclerosis.

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