More MS news articles for September 2002

Quality of life in multiple sclerosis: influence of interferon-b1a (Avonex®) treatment

Multiple Sclerosis, 1 October 2002, vol. 8, no. 5, pp. 377-381(5)
Vermersch P.[1]; de Seze J.[1]; Delisse B.[2]; Lemaire S.[1]; Stojkovic T.[1]
[1] Department of Neurology, Hôpital R. Salengro, Lille 59037, France [2] Department of Neurology, Centre Hospitalier Schaeffner, Lens 62300, France


Numerous data argue for initiating treatment with interferon-b (IFN-b) at an early stage in multiple sclerosis (MS). The consequences of its use may negatively influence the MS patient's quality of life (QoL).


To evaluate the QoL of MS patients before and after a one-year period of treatment with IFN-b1a (Avonex®).

Patients and Methods:

QoL was assessed using the SF-36 in 121 relapsing-remitting MS patients. We compared QoL before and after treatment and with data from a normal population. We also studied the possible influence of disease progression on the SF-36 scores.


One hundred six patients completed the study (87%). Compared to a normal population, patients were, at baseline, worse off for all QoL scales, varying from a minimum decrease of 0.73 SD in mental health, to a maximum decrease of 1.55 SD in general health. After treatment, we found no significant changes in any of the QoL scores, except for physical function, where we noted a slight but significant decrease (p = 0.03). Furthermore, there was no significant change either in the physical component summary (PCS) or mental component summary (MCS). The 'reported health transition' item was significantly improved compared to baseline (p = 0.001). At inclusion, significant correlations were found between EDSS scores and scores of physical function (p < 0.001), role - physical (p < 0.01), general health and social function (both p < 0.01), and with the PCS (p < 0.01). Patients with clinical relapses and/or disability progression had a more significant decrease in physical function (p < 0.05) and also in social function (p < 0.05).


The QoL, assessed by the SF-36 scale, is correlated with disability in MS. IFN-b1a treatment (Avonex®) has no negative effect on MS patient's QoL.