The Balance of Well and Ill-Being

Bassi M, Falautano M, Cilia S, Goretti B, Grobberio M, Pattini M, Pietrolongo E, Viterbo RG, Amato MP, Benin M, Lugaresi A, Martinelli V, Montanari E, Patti F, Trojano M, Delle Fave A. The coexistence of well- and ill-being in persons with multiple sclerosis, their caregivers and health professionals. J Neurol Sci. 2013 Nov 19. doi:pii: S0022-510X(13)03047-5. 10.1016/j.jns.2013.11.018. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND:Studies on emotional distress and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) broadened the traditional bio-medical focus in MS research, but little attention was paid to general well-being indicators.
OBJECTIVE:To investigate for the first time both ill-being and well-being dimensions in persons with MS (PwMSs), caregivers and health professionals, in relation to both health and life in general.
METHODS:A multi-center study assessed participants’ depression (Beck Depression Inventory-II), HRQOL (Short Form-36), psychological well-being (Psychological Well-Being Scales), optimal experience (Flow Questionnaire), life satisfaction (Satisfaction with Life Scale), hedonic balance (Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule). Demographic and clinical information was also gathered.
RESULTS:Overall, 71 PwMSs, 71 caregivers and 26 professionals were enrolled (N=168). Compared to healthy populations, PwMSs reported higher depression, lower HRQOL and lower general well-being; caregivers presented higher depression and lower general well-being; professionals reported the best ill- and well-being profiles. However, after controlling for demographic differences in age and education, hierarchical regressions highlighted that, though PwMSs reported higher depression and lower HRQOL than caregivers and professionals, their general well-being substantially leveled off.
CONCLUSIONS:Well-being coexists with ill-being. It can counterbalance the negative effects of disease or caregiving, and its measurement could complement and support medical intervention.

Being well occurs with being ill. How to you tip that balance in the right direction?

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