Understanding Effects of Diagnosis Disclosure in MS: Anne Kever, PhD

March 15, 2021
Anne Kever, PhD

Post-doctoral research fellow, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

The postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University discussed her abstract from ACTRIMS Forum 2021 on the associations of MS diagnosis disclosure and concealment with anxiety and depression.

"We also noticed that up to this point, there was no validated scale to measure what leads patients to hide their diagnosis, the reasons to make this choice, and the consequences that come with it.”

At the ACTRIMS Forum 2021, February 25–27, Anne Kever, PhD, presented a study that included 107 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and found that diagnosis disclosure and concealment attitudes are related to anxiety and depression. Additionally, greater perceived emotional burden was associated with worse depression (r = .236; P <.05) and higher anxiety (r = .518; P <.001), while greater perceived negative consequences of disclosure were linked to worse depression (r = .433; P <.001) and higher anxiety (r = .518; P <.001) as well.

Kever, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University, claims that there is limited literature on the effects of diagnosis disclosure, as well as a standardized scale to understand its impact. In her presentation, she noted that these attitudes may contribute to functional variability and may represent a tractable treatment target for novel interventions.

To understand more about the origins of the study and the need to conduct future examinations, NeurologyLive sat down with Kever, who offered her perspective on the data and its implications for clincians.

REFERENCE
Kever A, Leavitt VM. DISCO-MS survey of disclosure and concealment in MS: associations with anxiety and depression. Presented at ACTRIMS 2021 Forum; February 25–27, 2021. Abstract P031.