Background: MS has psychological and socioeconomic consequences that affect quality of life (QoL) as much as physical disability. This study was performed to determine the clinical and sociodemographic factors affecting QoL in a large international study using the MS International QoL (MusiQoL) questionnaire and SF-36. Results: In total, 1992 patients from 15 countries were enrolled with an average age of 42yrs. The analyses identified (1) lower educational level, (2) higher EDSS score, i.e. disability, (3) cognitive impairment, (4) being single and (5) shorter time since last relapse as significant predictors of lower QoL. In comparison (1) older age, (2) female sex, (3) higher EDSS score, (4) shorter time since last relapse and (5) receiving current MS treatment were significant predictors of lower QoL on the physical component of the SF-36. The SF-36 mental component summary score was linked to (1) occupational status, (2) inpatient/outpatient status, (3) time since last relapse, and (4) whether the patient was receiving MS treatment. Conclusion: Sociodemographic and clinical factors are linked to QoL in patients with MS. Interventions that affect these factors might be expected to influence QoL.
Fernández et al. Patient characteristics and determinants of quality of life in an international population with multiple sclerosis: Assessment using the MusiQoL and SF-36 questionnaires. Mult Scler. 2011 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print]
“No surprises here; common sense if you ask me. Being aware of these factors may help MSers focus on improving their QoL. As healthcare professionals we can help by asking about these factors, bringing in help when necessary and most of all treating aggressively in the hope of preventing disability. The latter underpins a lot of the factors linked to poor QoL. Does anybody disagree?”