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MOS Modified Social Support Survey (MSSS) Component of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life Inventory (MSQLI)
Availability
Freely available on the NMSS website: Please click HERE
or HERE for more information
Classification
Supplemental: Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Short Description of Instrument
Construct measured: Perceived social support
Generic vs. disease specific: Generic
Means of administration: Interview
Intended respondent: Patient
#of items: 18
#of subscales and names of sub-scales: 4 – Tangible Support, Emotional/Informational Support, Affectionate Support, and Positive Social Interaction
#of items per sub-scale: Tangible Support (4 items), Emotional/Informational Support (8 items), Affectionate Support (3 items), Positive Social Interaction (3 items)
Comments/Special Instructions
Scoring: The scoring system for the MSSS is relatively complex and generates a total score as well as subscale scores for tangible support, emotional/ informational support, affectionate support, and positive social interaction. Users should refer to the MSQLI User's Manual for detailed scoring instructions for both the full length 18-item MSSS and abbreviated 5-item version (NMSS 1997).
 
Background: The MSSS is a brief multidimensional measure of perceived social support. It is a slightly modified version of the Social Support Survey developed as part of the Medical Outcomes Study (Sherbourne and Stewart, 1991). This instrument provides an assessment of several domains of social support including tangible support, emotional support, affective support, and positive support. Note that the MSSS refers to perceived, not actual, support and refers to support from all sources, which inherently varies by individual. The full-length MSSS consists of 18 items while the abbreviated version has 5 items. The abbreviated version can be used if time is limited but the full-length version has the advantage of generating subscales. The MSSS is one of the components of the MSQLI and was modified slightly for use with MS patients following field- testing and psychometric analysis.
References
Fischer JS, LaRocca NG, Miller DM, Ritvo PG, Andrews H, Paty D. Recent developments in the assessment of quality of life in multiple sclerosis (MS). Mult Scler. 1999 Aug; 5(4):251-9.Quality of Life Inventory: A User's Manual. New York, NY: National Multiple Sclerosis Society; 1997.
Rationale/Justification
Strengths/Weaknesses: The MSSS is easy to administer and provides a multifaceted assessment of perceived social support. The availability of the four subscales, tangible support, emotional/informational support, affectionate support, and positive social interaction, may be useful to investigators interested in testing hypotheses concerning these different sub- domains. The four subscales are highly correlated with one another, limiting their usefulness to some degree.
 
Psychometric Properties: The full-length version of the MSSS has a Cronbach's alpha of .97 while the short form has an alpha of .88. In the field testing for the MSQLI the MSSS showed good convergent and discriminant validity, correlating highly with a measure of loneliness/companionship but poorly with measures such as bladder control and visual impairment.
 
Administration: The MSSS is a structured, self-report questionnaire that the patient can generally complete with little or no intervention from an interviewer. However, patients with visual or upper extremity impairments may need to have the MSSS administered as an interview. Interviewers should be trained in basic interviewing skills and in the use of this instrument. Administration time is approximately 5-10 minutes for the full- length version and 2-3 minutes for the abbreviated version. Although a recall time frame is not specified, patients who ask for a time frame should be instructed to think of the support they had available during the past 4 weeks. Additional guidance on some specific items can be found in the MSQLI User's Manual.