Stability of Both Cognitive-Affective and Somatic Symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis

Thursday, June 2, 2016
Exhibit Hall
Jason Botvinick, B.A. , Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Jeffrey G Portnoy, B.A. , Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Frederick W Foley, Ph.D. , School of Psychology, Yeshiva University, New York, NY

Background: Previous research has shown that there is a difference in the stability of neurovegetative, evaluative, and mood symptoms in multiple sclerosis (MS). There are many reasons why mood might be more variable including differences in coping style and benefit finding. The Beck Depression Inventory – II (BDI-II) measures two different domains of depressive symptoms: somatic and cognitive-affective. There has not been research which has examined the longitudinal course of depression using these domains in the BDI-II.

Objectives: To evaluate the stability of the domains of somatic and cognitive-affective symptoms of depression in MS.

Methods: Participants (= 349) were recruited from an outpatient clinic at a large medical center in New Jersey. Longitudinal data were collected as part of an ongoing research project. Participants completed a BDI-II and demographic questionnaire. Prior research was used to divide total BDI-II scores into somatic and cognitive-affective scores. Linear regression was used to examine the relationship between time and change in somatic and cognitive-affective BDI-II scores. Linear regression was also used to relate somatic and cognitive-affective BDI-II scores at baseline and follow-up.

Results: Time did not significantly predict change in either cognitive-affective (β= -.027, p = .613) or somatic scores (β = .018, p = .735). Initial cognitive-affective scores predicted cognitive-affective scores at follow-up (β = .604, p < .001). Initial somatic scores predicted somatic scores at follow-up (β = .533, < .001).

Conclusions: Depression appears stable across both somatic and cognitive-affective domains over time.