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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 972471, 8 pages
Review Article

The Gap in the Current Research on the Link between Health Locus of Control and Multiple Sclerosis: Lessons and Insights from a Systematic Review

School of Public Health, Department of Health Sciences (DISSAL), University of Genoa, Via Pastore 1, 16132 Genoa, Italy

Received 9 November 2012; Revised 13 January 2013; Accepted 14 January 2013

Academic Editor: W. Bruck

Copyright © 2013 Nicola Luigi Bragazzi. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease whose etiology has not been fully understood yet in detail. Empirical findings show how psychosocial symptoms are very important features of the clinical presentation of MS, having a deep impact on patient's quality of life, and thus psychological coping strategies may play a central role in reducing the burden of the disease and improving patient's satisfaction of life. MS progression and relapses/exacerbations are unpredictable and may depend on factors such as stressor chronicity, frequency, severity, type, and individual patient characteristics such as depression, personality, locus of control (LOC), optimism, and perceived social support. Due to its importance for health-care delivery, rehabilitation, and nursing, here, we make a systematic review on the current state-of-the-art studies concerning the relationship between LOC and MS, according to the PRISMA guidelines, and we assess the quality and the completeness of the studies using the CONSORT instrument, underpinning their limitations, and suggesting how to fill the gap in this research field.