Prospective relationship of mastery & depression and quality of life in multiple sclerosis

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Number of Honour Places Available
Medicine and Radiology
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Steve Simpson, Jr. Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Professor Tracey Weiland Personal web page

Project Details

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive, autoimmune, demyelinating condition of the central nervous system, manifesting in sensory, motor and/or cognitive dysfunction. Given its onset is typically in the prime years of life – often in the 20s – it has devastating impacts on the quality of life and independent living of the patients so affected.

Mastery, the sense of being in control of one’s life, is often a necessary element for positive lifestyle and overall health. Likewise, negative lifestyle and poor health can reduce one’s sense of mastery, with a negative feedback loop further exacerbating both. We have previously shown a cross-sectional relationship between mastery and improved physical and mental quality of life, but a prospective analysis would more definitively demonstrate this relationship. This understanding will aid in efforts to improve the mastery of people living with MS, as well as understanding more precisely the interrelationship of mastery with mood and quality of life.

Using the HOLISM longitudinal cohort study (n=1,401 at 2.5-yr follow-up, n=952 at 5-yr follow-up), this project will examine the prospective relationship of mastery, as measured by the Pearson Mastery Scale, with depression, as measure by the Patient Health Questionnaire, and quality of life as measured by the MSQOL-54. In assessing both the cross-sectional and prospective interrelationships of mastery with mood and quality of life, as well as the trajectories of each, this project will help our understanding of what impacts improvements in mastery might have on mental health.

Analysis methods to be employed include linear regression, multilevel mixed-effects linear regression, log-binomial regression, and/or Poisson regression, including univariable and multivariable models, as well as potential inter-group assessment of interaction by sex, age, MS course, or others as appropriate.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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