Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Main Research Portfolio
: 1) Critical Literature Review; 2) Towards an understanding of the barriers to implementing a measure of engagement in an assertive outreach team; 3) Does self criticism, shame and stigma impact depression and quality of life in Multiple Sclerosis.

  • Megan Prowse

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Objectives: The current study aims to understand if self-criticism, shame and self-stigma impact depression and quality of life in those with Multiple sclerosis.
Methods: A cross-sectional online questionnaire based study was conducted with self-report measures and advertised widely across the research websites, social media and in MS conferences.
Results: A total of 91 participants took part in the questionnaires. Correlation analyses showed a significant association between self-criticism, stigma and health-related quality of life in the non-MS group and significant associations between shame and health related quality of life in the MS group. There were no significant associations between any of the variables or groups on depression. One-way ANCOVAs showed no significant differences between the groups on self-criticism, shame and self-stigma. Although the study was significantly underpowered, the constructs are discussed in light of MS research into stigma and self-perception.
Conclusions: Shame was found to be a significantly associated factor with health-related quality of life and therefore an important consideration for interventions aiming to improve quality of life in MS. Further research with a larger sample is warranted to investigate this relationship further.
Date of Award8 Sept 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJo Daniels (Supervisor) & James Gregory (Supervisor)


  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • MS
  • Engagement

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