Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.655675
Title: Social cognition in multiple sclerosis : effects on social participation and quality of life
Author: Radlak, Bogumila
ISNI:       0000 0004 5366 7159
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2014
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Abstract:
Background: The current studies aimed to explore the effects of different variants of multiple sclerosis (MS) on social cognitive skills such as emotion perception, theory of mind (ToM) and empathy. Various aspects of empathy were measured using newly developed video paradigm that generated reliable and consistent responses in study participants. Further, the relationships between social cognition abilities and cognitive functioning, MS severity, mood and age were explored. The final aim was to establish whether difficulties in social cognition predicted restricted social participation and reduced quality of life in MS. Methods: This research measured multi-domain emotion perception, ToM and empathy using more ecologically valid measures than previous studies in participants with relapsing-remitting MS (n = 30), chronic progressive MS (n = 26) and matched healthy controls (n = 31). Executive functioning was measured using verbal fluency, whereas speed of processing was tested with the Digit Symbol Coding Task. Self-report measures were administered to assess of empathy, social participation, MS severity and mood. Results: Both MS groups presented with impairments in emotion perception and ToM but not in empathy. Cognitive functioning was associated with some measures of emotion perception and ToM. Reduced quality of life was inconsistently predicted by personal distress only and some aspects of emotion perception in individuals with MS. No aspects of social cognition were found to be a significant predictor of restricted social engagement in MS. Conclusion: Both MS samples demonstrated similar emotion perception and ToM impairments and no significant empathy impairment, though those with progressive MS reported poorer social participation. Lower levels of emotion perception and personal distress predicted some aspects of quality of life. Since the pattern of these results proved to be inconsistent, it is important to interpret the findings with caution, and to further explore socio-emotional functioning in MS.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.655675  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Multiple sclerosis ; Social perception ; Quality of life
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