Results from a study investigating if ‘a lack of social support and perceived stigma contributes to psychological distress in people with MND’ has been accepted for publication in the British Journal of Health Psychology.
The study, led by Natalie Leigh from Lancaster University in England, was conducted using an online survey of 77 participants, mainly from New Zealand accessed through the New Zealand MND Registry.
The research aimed to find out if there is a relationship between levels of stigma and levels of psychological distress experienced by individuals with motor neurone disease (MND). The study also aimed to find out the strength of this relationship compared to other important factors such as symptom severity and social support.
Results from the study suggest that individuals with higher levels of social support have lower levels of psychological stress. This indicates access to adequate social support can be a protective factor for avoiding psychological distress for individuals with MND.
It was also found that individuals with higher levels of felt stigma have higher levels of psychological distress. This indicates that interventions aimed at reducing felt stigma are important. The study suggested working with individuals to help them feel less stigmatised and highlighted the importance of the need to work in society to remove the discrimination and stigmatising attitudes that people experience.
The New Zealand MND Registry was established in 2017 with the aim of helping people in New Zealand with MND to participate in clinical trials and research about MND. The MND Registry is a confidential database where researchers can find people who may be interested and are eligible to participate in clinical studies or trials. If you are interested in enrolling in the New Zealand Motor Neurone Disease Registry or for more information, visit https://mnd.org.nz/registry/
For a full summary of the study, click here.