An Examination of Positive and Negative Outcomes During the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Persons With Multiple Sclerosis

Helen M. Genova, Michelle H. Chen, Amanda Botticello, Gerald Voelbel, Grace Kim, Heba E. Elsayed, Zuzanna Myszko, John DeLuca, Robert E. McGrath, Peter Arnett, Yael Goverover

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: This study provides information to clinicians about how persons with MS coped in both positive and negative ways during a potentially traumatic experience (the coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19] pandemic), which will help clinicians to provide better services to this population in the face of stressful events. Objective: To describe both positive and negative outcomes among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and to examine whether resilience and social support were related to positive and negative outcomes during the peak of the pandemic. Design: An online survey administered during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants: Participants were 74 individuals with MS and 104 healthy controls (HCs) recruited through social media and community support groups. Outcomes and Measures: The survey included questionnaires that assessed both positive and negative responses to the pandemic, including benefit finding, loneliness, and distress. Resilience and social support were also assessed. Results: Differences were noted between persons with MS and HCs on negative but not positive outcomes. Better social support and resilience were related to positive outcomes. Conclusions and Relevance: Both persons with MS and HCs were similar in benefit finding and stress management. However, negative outcomes were worse in the MS group. Our findings shed light on the importance of individuals with MS adopting a positive outlook to help during times of adversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7706205090
JournalAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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