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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(7), 14901-14911; doi:10.3390/ijms160714901

Mental Health in Multiple Sclerosis Patients without Limitation of Physical Function: The Role of Physical Activity

Institute of Sport Science and Sport, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Gebbertstr. 123b, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
Department of Neurology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Schwabachanlage 6, 91054 Erlangen, Germany
Caritas Krankenhaus Bad Mergentheim gGmbH, Uhlandstr. 7, 97980 Bad Mergentheim, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Christoph Kleinschnitz and Sven Meuth
Received: 22 May 2015 / Revised: 22 May 2015 / Accepted: 26 June 2015 / Published: 2 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis)
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, in general, show reduced physical function, physical activity, and quality of life. Positive associations between physical activity and quality of life have been reported. In particular, we were interested in the relation between physical activity and mental health in MS patients without limitation of physical function, since limitations of physical function may influence both physical activity and quality of life. Assessment comprised the Baecke questionnaire on physical activity, the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). We ranked our sample according to physical activity into four groups and performed an ANOVA to analyze the relationship between levels of physical activity and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Then we performed a subgroup analysis and included patients with unlimited walking distance and a score of less than 18 in the BDI. Most active vs. inactive patients were compared for the mental subscales of the SF-36 and depression scores. From 632 patients, 265 met inclusion criteria and hence quartiles were filled with 67 patients each. Active and inactive patients did not differ considerably in physical function. In contrast, mental subscales of the SF-36 were higher in active patients. Remarkable and significant differences were found regarding vitality, general health perception, social functioning and mental health, all in favor of physically active patients. Our study showed that higher physical activity is still associated with higher mental health scores even if limitations of physical function are accounted for. Therefore, we believe that physical activity and exercise have considerable health benefits for MS patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: multiple sclerosis; physical activity; quality of life; depression; mobility limitation; mental health multiple sclerosis; physical activity; quality of life; depression; mobility limitation; mental health

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tallner, A.; Waschbisch, A.; Hentschke, C.; Pfeifer, K.; Mäurer, M. Mental Health in Multiple Sclerosis Patients without Limitation of Physical Function: The Role of Physical Activity. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 14901-14911.

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