Quality of Life in Patients Affected by Multiple Sclerosis: A Systematic Review

  • F. Patti
  • A. Pappalardo
Reference work entry


Quality of Life (QOL) instruments are increasingly being used in multinational research and clinical practice.

More than 20 years of research have led a consensus on the definition of QOL as a multidimensional concept that detects at least four health-related domains (physical, social, psychological/emotional functions, and financial). These domains, not directly linked to  disability or impairment, are considered highly important by the patients. These assertions are particularly appropriate in patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS), who are less concerned than their clinicians about physical disability in their illness.

A large number of studies have demonstrated that patients with MS have poorer QOL than that of the general population.

Predictors of QOL in MS are distinguished between clinical and socio-demographic variables. Clinical predictors include the phenotype, disease duration, disability, depression, fatigue, cognitive impairment, bladder dysfunction, sexual and bowel disturbances, pain, and  sleep disturbances. Age, gender, employment status, and education level (employment status and education in MS people) have been identified as socio-demographic variables.

In this review, we have tried to target attention on the different issues of QOL in MS –definition, measurement, relationship with the disease, and effects of treatment. As physicians we are firmly convinced that it is useful to incorporate QOL measures in clinical practice.


Multiple Sclerosis Multiple Sclerosis Patient Expand Disability Status Scale Patient Generation Index Multiple Sclerosis Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:


disease modifying drugs


 expanded disability status scale


health-related quality of life


multiattribute utility scale


major depressive disorders


multiple sclerosis


multiple sclerosis quality of life-54 instrument


primary-progressive multiple sclerosis


quality-adjusted life-years


quality of life index


quality of life


relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis


schedule for the evaluation of individual QOL – direct weighting

SF 36

short form health survey questionnaire


secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis


World Health Organization


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Patti
    • 1
  • A. Pappalardo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMultiple Sclerosis Centre- University of CataniaNashvilleItaly

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