Psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis diagnosis: A meta-review of systematic reviews Academic Article uri icon


  • This meta-review aimed to synthesise evidence on psychosocial adjustment to multiple sclerosis, to identify available treatment models and services for recently diagnosed individuals, and to explore their effectiveness. MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Web of Science, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and grey literature were searched to include systematic reviews on psychosocial adjustment in multiple sclerosis. Two reviewers independently screened and assessed the quality of the selected reviews. Data were synthesised using narrative approach. Overall, thirty systematic reviews were included (with ~131,813 people with multiple sclerosis). A variety of psychosocial factors were identified in relation to adjustment to multiple sclerosis. Seven theoretical models that underpinned the available services and ten different intervention categories (e.g. cognitive behavioural approaches, mindfulness) for adjustment to multiple sclerosis were identified. There was some evidence that these interventions improved quality of life and coping, however, the difference they could make to people's adjustment was inconclusive. It was also difficult to conclude whether these interventions were particularly effective with the newly diagnosed. There is some support for the effectiveness of adjustment interventions. However, there is a need to design and rigorously evaluate support programmes for newly diagnosed people with multiple sclerosis, specifically focusing on information and adjustment support.


  • Topcu, Gogem
  • Griffiths, Holly
  • Bale, Clare
  • Trigg, Emma
  • Clarke, Sara
  • Potter, Kristy-Jane
  • Mhizha-Murira, Jacqueline R
  • Drummond, Avril
  • Evangelou, Nikos
  • Fitzsimmons, Deborah
  • das Nair, Roshan

publication date

  • December 2020