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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, unpredictable neurological disease. Little research has examined adjustment to living with MS, especially within early disease stages. We interviewed 30 people with early stage MS and analysed transcripts using thematic analysis. Early stage MS was typically considered difficult but manageable and was dealt with through positivity and practical strategies to preserve normal life. However, adjustment seemed precariously contingent on reasonable current and future health status. Participants described disinclination towards involvement in the stigmatized world of MS. Findings have implications for sensitive services for people with MS and question acceptance as a marker of appropriate adaptation. © The Author(s) 2010.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of health psychology

Publication Date





478 - 488