Symptom Changes in Multiple Sclerosis Following Psychological Interventions: A Systematic Review

Francesco Pagnini; Colin M Bosma; Deborah Phillips; Ellen Langer


BMC Neurol. 2014;14(222) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


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.