Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) The efficacy of video-feedback interventions to enhance parent-infant interaction in 'at risk' populations: a systematic review; 2) Increasing access to emotional coping skills training in an acute inpatient setting: Exploring feasibility and barriers to implementation; 3) Psychosocial factors underpinning depression in Multiple Sclerosis

  • Laura Brown

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy)


Background: Up to 50% of people with MS experience at least one episode of major depression. A model of psychosocial factors implicated in depression in people with MS has been proposed (Arnett, Barwick, & Beeney, 2008), but few studies have investigated these. Moreover, the model may be limited in terms of its scope. Aim: To investigate the constructs of pain interference, perceived symptom severity, perceived social support, self-efficacy, self-compassion, self-criticism, anxiety, and health anxiety in relation to depression in people with MS, with a particular focus on the mediating role of mental defeat (MD). Method: 86 participants were recruited from a Community Neuro and Stroke Service and an MS therapy centre. Participants completed self-report questionnaires measuring depression-related psychosocial variables. Results: Between-group comparisons (clinical versus non-clinical depression) and regression analyses revealed that the proposed psychosocial factors were significantly associated with depression. When compared simultaneously, only anxiety and MD remained significant predictors of depression. Mediational analyses revealed that MD mediated the association between each psychosocial factor and depression. Conclusions: The present study supports existing research highlighting an association between various psychosocial factors and depression and offers initial evidence for the role of MD in mediating these relationships. A re-conceptualisation of the model of depression in people with MS is argued and it is suggested that MD may be a beneficial focus of therapeutic work, but that further research is required to establish this.
Date of Award30 Aug 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMaria Loades (Supervisor), James Gregory (Supervisor) & Leon Dysch (Supervisor)

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