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West J Nurs Res. 2007 Aug;29(5):589-602; discussion 603-12. Epub 2007 Jun 4.

Postpartum functioning in mothers with multiple sclerosis.

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Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.


Increased family demands during the postpartum period together with having to cope with symptoms and curtailed everyday functioning associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) suggest the need for additional support for mothers with MS throughout the first postpartum year. This study investigated factors (MS duration, MS relapse, symptoms, social support) that affect functional performance of 172 mothers with MS during the second 6-month postpartum period. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and path analysis. Findings indicated a good fit of the path models to the data at 9 and 12 months. Significant effects at both 9 and 12 months included positive relationships between duration of MS and symptoms and between social support and functional performance. Significant negative relationships were observed between symptoms and both social support and functional performance. Social support mediated the relationship between symptoms and functional performance. Findings suggest the importance of continued social support throughout the first postpartum year.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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