Quality of life in multiple sclerosis in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom

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Abstract

Objective

To assess the quality of life (QoL) of patients with multiple sclerosis in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom with a cross sectional study.

Methods

Patients were classified into three severity groups according to the expanded disability severity scale (EDSS); stage I, II, and III, corresponding to mild (EDSS 1.0-3.5), moderate (EDSS 4.0-6.0), or severe (EDSS 6.5-8.0) multiple sclerosis respectively. Ninety patients with multiple sclerosis and 30 control patients without multiple sclerosis were recruited in each country. Control patients were matched to the patients with multiple sclerosis according to age and sex. Quality of life was assessed using the functional status questionnaire (FSQ).

Results

The aspects of QoL that were mostly affected in the three countries under study were physical function and general wellbeing. Social role function decreased with increased severity of disease in France and in particular in Germany. Multiple sclerosis did not seem to have an impact on psychological function. The QoL of control patients was systematically higher than that of patients with multiple sclerosis.

Conclusions

Use of such a generic scale showed that progression of multiple sclerosis is accompanied by a decrease in QoL and suggested that this could be a relevant measurement in assessing the effect of treatment and progression of disease. Variation between countries, however, may be important.

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