Relationship Between Self-Efficacy and Overall Self-Reported Disability in Multiple Sclerosis
Objectives: To determine whether self-efficacy correlates with self-reported disability in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Methods: Participants with MS were recruited to complete the MS Self-efficacy Scale (MSSS) and Patient-Determined Disease Steps (PDDS) scales. A brief demographic questionnaire was administered capturing disease duration, disease subtype, gender, and age. Neurologists confirmed MS diagnosis, subtype, and year of disease onset. Pearson correlations were used and p<.05 denoted a significant correlation.
Results: 92 persons with MS (mean age 48.01 +/-11.07 years; 76% female; mean disease duration 10.33 +/-7.81 years, mean PDDS 3.57 +/- 2.46) completed the MSSS and PDDS scales. The MSSS had a moderately inverse and significant correlation with the PDDS (r=-.41, p<.001). A multiple regression analysis revealed that age, disease duration and MSSS were significantly related to disability (R2=.27, F(3,64)=7.73, p<0.001). The standardized partial regression coefficients indicated 2 statistically significant predictors, age (β=.23, p=<.05) and MSSS (β=-.44, p=<.001). These results indicate that MSSS significantly and independently predicted self-reported disability, and was a stronger predictor than age and disease duration.
Conclusions: The current study findings indicate that higher self-reported self-efficacy levels predicted lower disability in an MS cohort controlling for other factors. Further research is warranted to determine whether this finding can be consistently reproduced in other samples and whether improved self-efficacy can affect MS prognosis.