Higher socioeconomic status (SES) was associated with a lower burden of psychiatric symptoms and with a higher likelihood of self-reported symptom recovery after receiving mental health treatment, according to a study published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders. Daniela A. Pimentel Maldonado, MD, and colleagues explored the associations between SES, race, and ethnicity as predictors of psychiatric symptoms, mental health attitudes, and health-seeking behavior in patients with MS. Persons with MS answered a national, Web-based survey including demographic characteristics, mental health attitudes, the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale, the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale 5-item version (MFIS-5), and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. They measured neighborhood-level SES (nSES) of participants using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality index, calculated from five-digit postal codes. Those in the lowest quartile of nSES were more likely to be either Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino compared with those in the highest quartile. Those in the lowest quartile of nSES had higher mean MFIS-5, PHQ-9, and GAD-7 scores relative to those in the highest quartile. SES was also associated with self-reported improvement of symptoms after receiving mental healthcare.
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