Neurological Sciences

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 617–620 | Cite as

Self-assessment reliability in multiple sclerosis: the role of socio-demographic, clinical, and quality of life aspects

  • Andrea TacchinoEmail author
  • Giampaolo Brichetto
  • Paola Zaratin
  • Mario Alberto Battaglia
  • Michela Ponzio
Brief Communication



Several multiple sclerosis studies matching self- and physician assessment of disease course and disability show moderate and high agreement respectively. However, the role played by socio-demographic, clinical, and quality of life (QoL) factors was not much investigated. The study aims at exploring how self-/physician agreement could depend on these variables.

Materials and methods

Participants were asked to report own disease course and disability according to preset categories. Kappa-value and confidence interval (CI) for disease course and two-way random interclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and CI for disability were calculated to evaluate self-/physician agreement. Χ2 was applied to examine whether other factors (gender, age, education, civil status, disease duration, fatigue, quality of life) had systematic effects.


Data analysis on 203 participants indicated fair agreement (Kappa-value = 0.30; 95% CI 0.23–0.38) and no dependency on the categories of each variable for disease course. Satisfactory correlation was found for disability (ICC = 0.74; 95% IC 0.67–0.80), good agreement was found for almost all variable categories, and significant differences were observed for education (better agreement for higher levels), disease duration, fatigue and QoL (better agreement for worse conditions).


Results seem to suggest that higher education and worse clinical and QoL conditions could engage the patient in developing more disease awareness and realistic self-perception and self-evaluation.


Self-assessment Disease course Disability Multiple sclerosis 


Funding information

This study was funded by the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (project 2013/S/3).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ResearchItalian Multiple Sclerosis FoundationGenoaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Life ScienceUniversity of SienaSienaItaly

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