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More MS news articles for December 2003

Assessing mood in patients with multiple sclerosis

Clin Rehabil. 2003 Dec;17(8):847-57
Groom MJ, Lincoln NB, Francis VM, Stephan TF.
Clinical Psychology Services, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.


To assess the validity and reliability of mood measures for use with people with multiple sclerosis (MS).


Four mood measures designed for use with people with communication and cognitive problems were completed; two were completed with the patient at interview and two by hospital staff or carers of the patients.

This procedure was repeated two weeks later to assess test-retest reliability.


People with MS at a rehabilitation unit (n = 22) and living in the community (n = 27).


The Stroke Aphasic Depression Questionnaire (SADQ) and Signs of Depression Scale (SODS) were completed by rehabilitation unit staff or by carers of the patients.

An assistant psychologist completed the Visual Analogue Self-Esteem Scale (VASES) and the Visual Analogue Mood Scales (VAMS) with each patient.

The Guy's Neurological Disability Scale (GNDS) was administered to assess physical disability.

Nonprofessional carers were asked to complete the General Health Questionnaire 12 (GHQ-12) about themselves.


In both samples there were significant correlations between scores on the two self-report measures (VASES and VAMS) (r(s) = 0.51-0.79) and between scores on the two observational measures (SADQ and SODS) (r(s) = 0.62-0.81) but not between the observational and self-report measures.

There was a significant correlation between the SODS and the carer GHQ (r(s) = 0.68, p < 0.01), indicating that carer mood influenced reporting of patients' mood.

There was no significant influence of profession on the observational measures, indicating good inter-rater reliability.

Test-retest reliability was high for patients in the community but not for patients in hospital.


In both the inpatient and community samples, the self-report and observational mood measures appeared to be measuring different aspects of patients' mood.

Further investigation is needed to determine which of these is providing the most accurate information.