Background: Psychological resilience may play an important role in protecting multiple sclerosis (MS) care-partners from the negative effects of their support role. However, predictors of resilience in this population have yet to be identified.
Objectives: To identify characteristics predictive of psychological resilience in MS care-partners as informed by the Socioecological Model of Resilience.
Methods: Informal MS care-partners (n=540) were assessed cross-sectionally via an online survey. Sociodemographic and care-context variables were obtained and resilience was measured using the Connor-Davidson resilience scale (CD-RISC 25). Predictors of resilience were assessed using hierarchical linear regression.
Results: The mean CD-RISC 25 score was 59.0 (SD=0.6). Sociodemographic variables accounted for 30% of the variance in resilience scores in MS care-partners. When care-context variables were incorporated into the model, 56% of variance was explained (F [7,322]=28.282, p<0.001). Each group of variables remained significant in both low (PDDS?2) and high disability (PDDS>3) care-recipient models. Social support was the only individual variable that remained significant across all models (p<0.05). Conclusions: Individual characteristics and factors contributing to resilience among MS care-partners differ strikingly from other caregiving populations. Both sociodemographic and care-context variables possess an invaluable function in encouraging or hindering resilience development among MS care-partners, with care-context variables being most important at higher levels of disability. Social support, in particular, may be an important target for promoting resilience in MS support partners and could be leveraged in future interventions.