Point prevalence and correlates of depression in a national community sample with multiple sclerosis

Rebecca Viner, Kirsten M. Fiest, Andrew G.M. Bulloch, Jeanne V.A. Williams, Dina H. Lavorato, Sandra Berzins, Nathalie Jetté, Luanne M. Metz, Scott B. Patten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The prevalence of depression in multiple sclerosis (MS) is known to be elevated, but nearly all available studies have estimated period prevalence. The objective of this study was to estimate the point prevalence of depression in a representative community sample using the Patient Health Questionnaire, Brief (PHQ-9). Methods: The data source for this study was the Survey of Living with Neurological Conditions in Canada, which was derived from a representative sample of household residents. Results: The sample included 630 respondents with MS. With application of the standard PHQ-9 cut point (10. +), the prevalence of depression was 26.0% (95% confidence interval 18.9%-33.0%). Depressed subjects had lower quality of life; an increased frequency of suicidal ideation; and more often reported a negative disease course, high stress, low social support and stigmatization. Conclusions: This study adds to the existing literature by providing point prevalence data: in any 2-week period, about one quarter of community residents with MS experience substantial levels of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-354
Number of pages3
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Depression
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Population studies
  • Prevalence


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