Study explores factors affecting money management skills in MS

December 18, 2019
A team of rehabilitation researchers identified factors associated with the money management problems experienced by some individuals with multiple sclerosis. Few studies have addressed this issue, which can have substantial effect on quality of life. 

Kessler Foundation researchers enrolled 72 participants with MS, from 18 to 65 years old, and 26 healthy controls. To examine the association between money management difficulties and cognitive, motor, and emotional factors, researchers tested all participants for cognitive skills, depression and anxiety, and upper and lower limb motor function.

Money management skills were assessed with two methods: 1) KF-Actual Reality, a performance-based assessment developed at Kessler Foundation that tests five behaviors essential to money management by tasking the participant with an actual task – making an online purchase; and 2) a money management questionnaire developed for use in individuals with brain injury. Based on their performance, the participants with MS were grouped as efficient (MS Efficient-MM) or inefficient money managers (MS Inefficient-MM).

Overall, the healthy control group performed better than both MS groups. Of the three groups, the MS Inefficient-MM group scored lowest on measures of cognitive and motor skills, and highest on affective symptomatology. Researchers identified two factors associated with efficient money management: good executive functioning and low depressive symptomatology.

The association of money management difficulties with depressive symptomatology is a new finding, according to the researchers, and further research is warranted into what may be a key predictor for these difficulties in the MS population.

The article was published by Frontiers in Neurology.

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