Depression is a predictor for balance in people with multiple sclerosis

      Highlights

      • Balance impairments are common in people with MS.
      • Depression is a frequent disorder in individuals with MS.
      • Depression is a predictor for balance deficits in people with MS.
      • Management of persons with MS should cover both physical and psychological impairments.

      Abstract

      Background

      Balance impairments are common and multifactorial among people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Depression is the most common psychological disorder in MS population and is strongly correlated with MS disease. Depression might be one of the factors that contribute to balance deficits in this population. However, the relationship between depression and balance impairments has not been explored in people with MS.

      Objective

      To investigate the association between depression and balance impairments in people with MS.

      Methods

      Cross sectional design was used in patients with MS. The Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (ABC) and Berg Balance Scale (BBS) was used to assess balance. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) was used to quantify depression and Kurtizki Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) was utilized for the evaluation of MS disability severity. Pearson correlation coefficient was used to examine the association between depression and balance measurements. Multiple linear stepwise regressions were also conducted to find out if depression is a potential predictor for balance deficits.

      Results

      Seventy-five individuals with MS (Female = 69%) with a mean age (SD) of 38.8 (10) and a mean (SD) EDSS score of 3.0 (1.4) were recruited in this study. Depression was present in 53% of the patients. Depression was significantly correlated with balance measurements and EDSS. However, multiple linear stepwise regressions found that only depression and age significantly predict balance.

      Conclusion

      Depression and balance were found frequent and associated in people with MS. Importantly depression was a significant predictor for balance impairments in individuals with MS. Balance rehabilitation may be hindered by depression. Therefore, depression should be evaluated and treated properly in individuals with MS.

      Keywords

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