Depressive symptoms are common in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), and are frequently exacerbated by pain; however, spiritual well-being may allow persons with MS to more effectively cope with pain-related deficits in physical and role functioning. We explored the associations between spiritual well-being, pain interference and depressive symptoms, assessing each as a potential mediator, in eighty-one patients being treated for MS, who completed self-report measures: Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Spiritual Well-Being Scale, Pain Effects Scale, and Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised. At the bivariate level, spiritual well-being and its subscale of meaning and peace were negatively associated with depression and pain interference. In mediation models, depression was not related to pain interference via spiritual well-being, or to spiritual well-being via pain interference. Pain interference was related to depression via spiritual well-being and meaning/peace, and to spiritual well-being and meaning/peace via depressive symptoms. Finally, spiritual well-being and meaning/peace were related to depression via pain interference, and to pain interference via depressive symptoms. For patients with MS, a multi-faceted approach to treatment that includes pain reduction and promotion of spiritual well-being may be beneficial, although amelioration of depression remains a critical task.
Nsamenang, Sheri A.; Hirsch, Jameson K.; Topciu, Raluca; Goodman, Andrew D.; and Duberstein, Paul R.. 2016. The Interrelations Between Spiritual Well-Being, Pain Interference and Depressive Symptoms in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Vol.39(2). 355-363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-016-9712-3 ISSN: 1573-3521