Investigation into theory of mind in individuals with multiple sclerosis: A systematic review of the psychometric properties of the theory of mind measures used in multiple sclerosis and Psychological, interpersonal and social functioning in multiple sclerosis: the role of theory of mind
Theory of Mind (TOM) is an important ability in guiding social behaviour, with impairments in TOM being associated with psychosocial difficulties. Over recent years, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) have been consistently shown to have impaired TOM abilities, however, little is known about the psychosocial impact of these impairments in this population. This thesis has two sections. Initially, a systematic review was completed that assessed and compared the psychometric properties of the TOM measures which have been used with individuals with MS. This highlighted that seventeen different TOM measures have been used with individuals with MS. Through exploring the psychometric properties of these seventeen measures, it was revealed that no measure has been validated on an MS sample and more generally there was little information about the psychometric properties of these measures. Whilst recommendations are tentatively made on TOM measure selection for individuals with MS, the paper discusses the remaining challenges in measure selection, accuracy of measurement and the need for further research into these measures. Secondly, an empirical study explored the relationships between TOM abilities and psychosocial outcomes in individuals with MS. In total, 36 individuals participated, which involved completing neuropsychological tasks of TOM and executive functioning abilities, as well as self-report measures of their psychological, interpersonal and social abilities. Results indicated that TOM was not associated with psychological, interpersonal and several areas of social functioning, however, TOM performance was significantly related to social withdrawal, employment and quality of life. These findings are discussed and areas for future research identified.