Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and progressive illness of the central nervous system that damages the brain and the spinal cord. It may take different forms but all disrupt nerve function causing symptoms ranging from mild numbness and walking difficulties to paralysis and blindness. It occurs due to an immune-system attack against myelin, a white, fatty coat around nerve fibers which provides insulation that contributes to the speed of transmission of nerve signals. When this is attacked, demyelination or destruction of myelin occur causing nerve transmission flow interruption leading to the neurological problems related to the disease. Symptoms include weakness, tingling, numbness, fatigue, lack of coordination, balance and vision problems, tremors, muscle stiffness, slurred speech, bowel and bladder problems, sexual dysfunction, memory and reasoning problems and partial or complete paralysis.
[...] Multiple Sclerosis: Stressors and coping strategies in spousal caregivers. Journal of Community Health Nursing 123-135. Pakenham, K. I. (2005). Benefit finding in multiple sclerosis. Health Psychology 123–132. Pakenham, K. I. (2006). Investigation of the coping antecedents to positive outcomes and distress in multiple sclerosis. Psychology and Health 633-649. Pakenham, K.I. and Bursnall S. (2006). Relations between social support, appraisal and coping and both positive and negative outcomes for children of a parent with multiple sclerosis and comparisons with children of healthy [...]
[...] How these results confirm the hypotheses mentioned in the earlier part of the paper is elaborately explained and supported by sufficient related literature. The results are very promising and as such, should merit more research on this field of psychology in relation to multiple sclerosis. Recommendations for the study must focus on the apparent weaknesses in sampling and conducting of tests. The sample should include a broader representation of all MS patients in the world to affirm the universality of the results. [...]
[...] This is an important study because the findings reveal that the role of appraised stress and coping strategies is not only limited to distress but also to the positive outcomes. This could be used to help MS patients face their disease better. For instance, knowledge obtained from coping and appraisal strategies could be used not only be the patients but the caregivers who are frequently exposed to them (O'Brien, 1993). This knowledge could also be used for children whose parents are afflicted with the disease (Pakenham and Bursnall, 2006). [...]
[...] Overall, this study has made a contribution to the field of psychology because it provided new knowledge in understanding the psychological states of MS patients and the role of both appraisal and coping in the negative and positive states (as shown in the extensive literature review to ensure this project is a novel one). Another strength of the study is the solid and clear methodology based on many previous and credible studies of the same type. This includes the use of the Mayo-portland adaptability inventory that can be used to identify respondents who are not likely to provide reliable self-reports because of the severity of the impairment of their cognition (Malec and Thompson, 1994). [...]
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