Monday, September 21, 2015
Quality of Life With MS Affected by Hidden Symptoms
A recent study shows that ‘hidden’ factors have the capacity to influence quality of life (QoL) for MS patients. In clinical trials, traditional measures of quality of life for MS patients center around disease activity and physical disability progression. Measuring things such as relapses and lesions is much easier than measuring non-medical issues related to quality of life; but it reflects only part of the patient’s experience.
Quality of life can be complicated. MS patients may respond well to treatment and be free of significant symptoms, but still have poor QoL due to factors such as depression, inability to work, and relationship issues. They may “look fine” but have a reduced quality of life. Conversely, patients who have accumulated significant physical disability may continue to participate fully in life and view their own QoL in a positive light.
While MS patients need to learn to cope with visible and invisible issues related to MS, discussing these issues with family, friends, or medical professionals may be difficult. Patients and providers both may be reluctant to discuss invisible issues during routine clinical visits. In addition, the problems may be complex and difficult to manage because of the lack of efficient solutions.
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Quality of Life and MS