A theory of mind training for people with multiple sclerosis: Development of a scale to assess the treatment acceptability

Alessia D'Arma, Annalisa Valle, Sonia Di Tella, Davide Massaro, Marco Rovaris, Francesca Baglio, Antonella Marchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Among the cognitive functions affected by Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease, recent literature has focused on Theory of Mind (ToM), the ability of recognition and the attribution of mental states to predict future behaviors. To our knowledge, despite the ToM deficit is well recognized in MS, there is no training established for the treatment in this population. For these reasons, we aimed to design and implement a ToM training to empower this social ability based on engaging material derived from cinema, and literature (cultural ToM Training - CToM). However, recent literature highlighted the importance of a rigorous methodology when a training rehabilitation program is designed, with the necessity to assess its acceptability as the first step of the implementation process. For this reason, this study aimed to evaluate the acceptability of our CToM designed for adult people with MS (PwMS). We developed two ad-hoc instruments to measure if and how our cultural training could be considered acceptable and evaluate cultural attitudes of PwMS sample. The results show that CToM training has been evaluated as very acceptable; the acceptability has proved very high also if we consider the acceptability results in the sub-factors retained by the factorial analyses. We assessed the CToM to be highly reliable at an alpha value of .85. The CToM - TAQ could be hence a useful instrument to detect the acceptability and its specific sub-components. Future works could validate our questionnaire to enlarge the availability of assessment instruments for the acceptability evaluation of a rehabilitation training program.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11586-11596
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Theory of Mind
  • acceptability
  • rehabilitation training
  • social cognition


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