The concept of quality of life is complex and often difficult to define.
Having MS can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to
participate in society, remain in employment and have relationships. All
of these factors can have a negative impact on quality of life of a
person with MS. Much research in this area focuses on the impact of loss
of employment at an individual and society level. Assessing the
benefits of lifestyle modifications, exercise and diet are also an
important area of research.
Health-related quality of life measures can be generic or
disease-specific. Generic measures include areas like pain or mobility
which are widely acknowledged to influence health-related quality of
life. Examples of such measures are the SF36 and EuroQol. For MS, these
measures include the Functional Assessment of MS (FAMS), or two scales
based on the generic SF36; the MS Quality of Life health survey (MSQoL
54) and the MS Quality of Life Index (MSQoLI). Developing better tools
to measure quality of life is an important area of research. Recent
studies have focused on patient reported outcome measures (PROMS). Such
measures are important in assessing the impact of a treatment or
therapy, including rehabilitation strategies.