Original article| Volume 66, 104019, October 2022

Health-related quality of life of patients with multiple sclerosis: Analysis of ten years of national data


      • This study found that patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have lower physical and mental Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) than their non-MS counterparts.
      • MS patients were more likely to seek help for help for Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) than non-MS adults.



      Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Both the physical and mental burden of MS affect patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQoL). However, there is limited research at the national level evaluating the humanistic burden among MS patients.


      This study evaluated the HRQoL and functional limitations among MS patients using ten years of national survey data.


      Guided by the conceptual framework of the Wilson and Cleary model, this study compared HRQoL between adults diagnosed with MS (Clinical Classification Code= “080″) and non-MS adults using the 2006–2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data. The humanistic burden included HRQoL and functional limitations. The HRQoL was evaluated using physical component summary (PCS) and mental component summary (MCS) based on the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12). The study applied the multivariable Generalized Linear Models (GLM) to estimate the marginal differences in PCS and MCS based on the SF-12. In addition, seeking help for activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) were modeled with multivariable logistic regression.


      According to the MEPS, the estimated annual prevalence of MS was 0.52 million (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.42–0.60). MS patients were mainly female (71.90%), middle aged (50–64 years, 40.21%), non-Hispanic whites (78.29%), and enrolled in private insurance plans (68.93%). The average PCS scores in MS and non-MS groups were 35.70 and 49.48, respectively. The average MCS scores were 45.58 and 51.25 for MS and non-MS groups, respectively. In addition, 18.26% of MS patients sought help for ADL, and 27.08% sought help for IADL. After adjusting for individual, biological, and environmental characteristics, the multivariable GLM with Poisson distribution indicated that the marginal difference of PCS score was 11.10 (95% CI: 9.50–12.61) units lower, and the MCS score was 4.89 (95% CI: 3.44–6.30) units lower among MS patients. In addition, MS patients were 17.32 (95% CI: 11.61–25.84) and 14.43 (95% CI: 10.09–20.65) times more likely to request assistance for ADL and IADL, respectively.


      MS was associated with lower physical and mental HRQoL than their non-MS counterparts and MS patients were more likely to request help for ADL and IADL. More work is needed to evaluate the effect of treatment strategies on improving the HRQoL and functional limitations in MS.


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