Symptom cluster and quality of life: Preliminary evidence in multiple sclerosis

Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA.
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing (Impact Factor: 0.91). 08/2010; 42(4):212-6. DOI: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3181e26c5f
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study examined the symptom cluster of fatigue, pain, and depression as a correlate of reduced quality of life (QOL) in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The sample included 291 individuals with a definite diagnosis of MS who were enrolled in a 6-month longitudinal study of physical activity and QOL. The participants completed baseline measures of fatigue, depression, and pain and follow-up measures of QOL. Cluster analysis initially identified three subgroups differing in experiences of fatigue, depression, and pain, and analysis of variance then indicated that the three subgroups differed in QOL. The subgroup with lowest scores on all three symptoms had the highest QOL, whereas the subgroup with the highest scores on the symptoms had the worst QOL. Such findings provide preliminary support for fatigue, pain, and depression as a symptom cluster that correlates with reduced QOL in persons with MS.

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    ABSTRACT: As more investigations into factors affecting the quality of life of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) are undertaken, it is becoming increasingly apparent that certain comorbidities and associated symptoms commonly found in these patients differ in incidence, pathophysiology and other factors compared with the general population. Many of these MS-related symptoms are frequently ignored in assessments of disease status and are often not considered to be associated with the disease. Research into how such comorbidities and symptoms can be diagnosed and treated within the MS population is lacking. This information gap adds further complexity to disease management and represents an unmet need in MS, particularly as early recognition and treatment of these conditions can improve patient outcomes. In this manuscript, we sought to review the literature on the comorbidities and symptoms of MS and to summarize the evidence for treatments that have been or may be used to alleviate them.
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