Social participation and health-related quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis

Pavol Mikula, M.Sc., Iveta Nagyova, Ph.D., Martina Krokavcova, Ph.D., Marianna Vitkova, M.D., Jaroslav Rosenberger, M.D., Ph.D., Jarmila Szilasiova, M.D., Ph.D., Zuzana Gdovinova, M.D., Ph.D., Johan W. Groothoff, Ph.D., Jitse P. van Dijk, M.D., Ph.D.

Disability and Health Journal, Vol. 8, Issue 1, p29–34
Published online: July 16 2014



Social participation is an integral part of everyday life in society; however, evidence about its association with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) is lacking.


The aim of this study is to explore whether social participation is associated with the Physical Component Summary of HRQoL (PCS) and Mental Component Summary of HRQoL (MCS) in people with MS, controlled for age, gender, disease severity and disease duration.


The sample consisted of 116 consecutive people with MS (response rate: 75.8%; 72.4% women; mean age 40.3 ± 9.8). People with MS completed the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) for measuring PCS and MCS and the Participation Scale, which measures the level of social participation. Disability was assessed using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). The associations between social participation, PCS and MCS, were analyzed using linear regression that controlled for sociodemographic and clinical variables.


PCS was significantly associated with age, disease duration, EDSS and social participation. MCS did not show significant association with the studied variables. Overall, a multiple regression model explained 48% of the PCS variance, while the proportion of MCS variance explained was not significant.


Social participation was significantly associated with PCS, suggesting a possibility for intervention in this domain.