Sensory Processing, Fatigue and Quality of Life for Adults with Multiple Sclerosis

Friday, June 3, 2016: 3:40 PM
Maryland A
Melissa A Colbeck, OT Reg. (MB) , Occupational Therapy, Health Sciences Centre, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Background: Quality of life for persons living with multiple sclerosis (MS) is significantly lower than population norms. Fatigue and cognitive deficit, two of the most prevalent and debilitating symptoms of MS, decrease quality of life. Cognitive fatigue presents similarly to sensory over-responsiveness, but the connection has not been explored. The investigator used sensory processing approach to describe the relationship between cognitive fatigue and quality of life for persons with MS.

Objectives: To describe how sensory processing preferences, fatigue and cognition relate to variances in quality of life.

Methods: The investigator used a cross-sectional design asking 30 people living with MS who have been referred to occupational therapy to complete the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP), Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) and RAND-36. Spearman’s coefficient and Chi-Square tests measured non-parametic correlations between variables.

Results: People with MS who have high scores low registration, sensory sensitivity, and sensation avoidant quadrants of the AASP also have higher levels of cognitive fatigue and poorer quality of life. Those with high scores in sensory seeking experience greater quality of life and less cognitive fatigue.

Conclusions: Establishing a relationship between sensory processing preferences, fatigue and cognition as variables impacting quality of life shapes clinical practice by 1) validating the assessment of sensory processing alongside fatigue and cognition; 2) offering individualized intervention planning to shape fatigue management; and 3) fostering hope and quality of life for clients living with MS.