The long-term effects of microvascular decompression on social phobia and health-related quality of life in patients with hemifacial spasm: a 3-year prospective study
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Although not a life-threatening condition, hemifacial spasm (HFS) frequently leads to social phobia because it causes significant facial disfigurement and consequently reduces health-related quality of life (HRQoL). The purpose of the current study was to examine the long-term effects of MVD on psychological aspects and HRQoL in HFS patients with social anxiety over a 36-month follow-up.
Thirty patients with HFS who underwent MVD from January 2015 to May 2015 were included in this prospective study. Clinical data, including standardized measures of general anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS)), social anxiety (Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS)), and the severity of HFS, were collected postoperatively, and 6 months and 36 months after MVD. Likewise, data on HRQoL were collected at baseline, and 6 months and 36 months after MVD using the Korean version of the Short Form 36 (SF-36).
Twenty-two patients who completed the 36-month follow-up were classified into social phobia group and non-social phobia group based on the LSAS total scores of 60. Repeated measures analysis of variance demonstrated significant differences between the two groups over time for the total LSAS score (p < 0.001), anxiety subscale score of the HADS (p = 0.002), and the Mental Component Summary (MCS) (p = 0.046) of the SF-36. A comparison of these two groups in terms of differences observed in their scales at 6 months after MVD has shown that the improvements of the social phobia group in HADS anxiety subscale (p = 0.010), LSAS total score (p = 0.008), and MCS (p = 0.040) were significantly more improved than the those of non-social phobia group. And at 36 months after surgery, the improvement of the scales mentioned above was maintained, and additionally Vitality (p = 0.040) and Mental Health (p = 0.040) dimensions showed a statistically significant improvement.
The improvements previously observed in psychological aspects and HRQoL over a short-term follow-up after MVD in HFS patients with social phobia were maintained for at least 36 months after MVD.
KeywordsHealth-related quality of life Hemifacial spasm Microvascular decompression Social phobia Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale
Health-related quality of life
Leibowitz Social Anxiety Scale
Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale
Short Form 36
Physical Component Summary
Mental Component Summary
Repeated measures analysis of variance
Compliance with ethical standard
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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