New MS 'Theory of mind' study launches

illustration of a human head with cogs representing the brain.

Jun 2019: A new study has launched to explore psychological, interpersonal and social functioning in people with MS.

The new study, taking place in the Clinic, is exploring 'Theory of mind' in people with MS. It will be looking at if there is a relationship between understanding other people’s thoughts/intentions and functional outcomes in MS e.g. mood, relationship quality and social engagement. The study is being conducted by Rachel Gibson, a trainee clinical psychologist.

'Theory of mind' refers to an individual’s ability to understand that other people have their own thoughts, opinions and beliefs which can differ from our own. It is important in social interactions as it allows us to adapt our behaviour and know what information to communicate to others, e.g. building on what they already know. Our research wants to find out if, for someone with multiple sclerosis, their theory of mind abilities impact upon their mood, relationship quality and social engagement.

The project will be recruiting participants through the Anne Rowling Clinic from June to October 2019. The study is aiming to recruit between 20 and 30 individuals with a diagnosis of MS through the Clinic and will also be recruiting individuals from NHS Fife.

Participation is for people with an MS diagnosis and would involve completing a range of task/puzzles in one 90-minute session or two 45-minute sessions. They will also be asked to complete a couple of questionnaires at home.

It is hoped that the research findings will contribute to future research and potentially future development of new strategies for managing MS symptoms.

Find more details on our research project page

This article was published on: Monday, June 10, 2019