More MS news articles for September 2002

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

http://www.ingenta.com/isis/searching/ExpandTOC/ingenta?issue=infobike://arn/ms/2002/00000008/00000005&index=5

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

Background:

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).

Objective:

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.

Results:

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).

Conclusion:

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.