Symptom changes in multiple sclerosis following psychological interventions: a systematic review


Background: Multiple Sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system involving a variety of debilitating physical, sensory, cognitive and emotional symptoms. This literature review evaluated the impact of psychological interventions on the physiological symptoms associated with the illness. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted using Medline, PsycINFO, Scopus, and the Cochrane Library databases, as well as reference lists. Relevant studies were selected and assessed according to a preset protocol. Results: The search produced 220 articles, with 22 meeting inclusion criteria for the review. A total of 5,705 subjects with Multiple Sclerosis were analyzed. Results from the included studies indicate a general improvement in both psychological and physiological outcomes following psychological treatment. The most highly influenced physical symptoms include fatigue, sleep disturbances, pain, and physical vitality. Conclusions: Findings from the review suggest a positive relationship between psychological interventions and physiological Multiple Sclerosis symptoms. Implications for future research are discussed.

In BMC Neurology