Shahla Mohamadirizi, Vahid Shaygannejad, Soheila Mohamadirizi and Marjan Mohamadirizi
Context: Social anxiety and eating disorders have demonstrated high comorbidity in a Multiple Sclerosis Clinic Population. However, social anxiety has not been directly studied with respect to eating disorders. This study, therefore, was designed to determine the relationship between social anxiety and eating disorders in a multiple sclerosis clinic population.
Methods and materials: This was a cross-sectional study which was conducted in Kashani Hospital affiliated with Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, in 2013. 210 adult patients who suffered from multiple sclerosis were selected and completed the Demographic Characteristics Questionnaire, Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) and Anxiety Disorder Inventory. SPSS Version 16 software was used to conduct statistical tests including t-test, ANOVA and Pearson correlation.
Results: The results showed that mean and standard deviation of the eating disorder and social anxiety scores were 1.2 ± 0.15 and 17.9 ± 8.5, respectively. Also, 7.2% of multiple sclerosis patients had eating disorder and 39.1% social anxiety disorder. There was a significant positive correlation between the social anxiety score and eating disorder score (r=0.4, p ≤ 0.05).
Conclusion: Our study indicated a significant level of social anxiety and eating disorders in people with multiple sclerosis. Eating disorders in multiple sclerosis patients was strongly related with social anxiety. The findings from this study can assist health care team to pay more attention to social anxiety and eating disorders in people with multiple sclerosis, and also consider their relationship in their evaluations.