Original Article

The Possible Direct Correlation between Cognitive Impairment and Fear of Catching COVID-19 among Patients with Multiple Sclerosis


Objective: The prevalence of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS) is significant and it is estimated that 40% to 70% of patients with MS suffer from this impairment. COVID-19 is also a new infectious disease. The symptoms of this disease, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, can be mild to severe and can even lead to death. Due to the use of immunosuppressive drugs by Patients with MS, they might be at greater risk of catching COVID-19. Thus, patients with MS may be more afraid of catching the virus. One of the important factors is the relationship between cognitive deficit and the increase in patients' fear of COVID-19. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between fear of catching COVID-19 and cognitive impairment in patients with MS.

Method: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the MS Clinic, Sina hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Our participants in this project were Patients with MS who were over 18 years old and had no history of other neurological and psychiatric diseases. In addition to obtaining demographic and clinical information, we measured the fear of catching the COVID 2019 via Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S), which is 7-item questionnaire. We also used Multiple Sclerosis Neuro Psychological Screening Questionnaire (MSNQ) to assess memory and information processing speed in Patients with MS.

Results: After adjustment for age, gender, disease duration, highest level of education, MS type, and EDSS in linear regression model, as well as the MSNQ total score and fear score of catching coronavirus, the results demonstrated a significant positive correlation with P value of 0.00 and β: 0.024.

Conclusion: The present study showed a direct relationship between cognitive disorder and level of fear regarding COVID-19. Patients with more cognitive disorders were more afraid of COVID-19.

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IssueVol 16 No 3 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijps.v16i3.6260
COVID-19 Cognitive Impairment Fear Multiple Sclerosis

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How to Cite
Saeedi R, Rezaeimanesh N, Sahraian MA, Naser Moghadasi A. The Possible Direct Correlation between Cognitive Impairment and Fear of Catching COVID-19 among Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Iran J Psychiatry. 2021;16(3):336-342.