MS and Mood during the COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers from the Nottingham MS Research Group are working with colleagues at Imperial College London, Swansea University and the UK Multiple Sclerosis Register to examine the effect of COVID-19 on people living with MS.

The project includes a sub-study to explore how COVID-19 is affecting the mood and psychological wellbeing of people with MS. This is important because this kind of pandemic, and the associated loneliness caused by isolation, can lead to future mental health problems for many. As it is acknowledged that high levels of mood problems can be associated with MS relapses, the research teams want to urgently track people’s mood, and find ways of helping them deal with these problems.

While during the initial few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, much research attention focussed on the physical aspects of the disease, with the advent of the lockdown and all its consequences, it became clear to us as clinicians and researchers that people’s mental health was likely to be affected. Therefore, our study was put together very quickly to understand how people with MS were experiencing life during the pandemic in terms of their mood and their lifestyle.

The MS-COVID-19 psychological wellbeing study focuses on (i) mood (anxiety, depression, and trauma), (ii) lifestyle issues (how people’s diet, exercise, alcohol consumption and smoking behaviours had changed over the course of the pandemic), (iii) work issues, and (iv) social support. We have over 1800 people with MS complete the survey so far, and we would like more people to tell us how they have been feeling. If you have MS, please click here to log on and complete the questionnaire: ukmsregister.org/login 

To make sense of our data, we are also reaching out to the general public (who do not have MS) to complete the same questionnaire, so that we can look for similarities and differences in how those with and without MS are experiencing life during the pandemic. We would like to urge people without MS to complete our brief questionnaire, by following this link: https://redcap.ukmsregister.org/surveys/?s=HX3HPMRJLP