Quality of life in ALS is maintained as physical function declines

R. A. Robbins, Z. Simmons, B. A. Bremer, S. M. Walsh, S. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

189 Scopus citations


Objectives: To study patients with ALS to determine how physical function, quality of life (QOL), and spirituality or religiousness change over time, and what relationship these changes have to one another. Methods: Sixty patients with ALS were studied prospectively. They were assessed at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months, using questionnaires designed to measure general quality of life (McGill Quality of Life questionnaire), religiosity (Idler Index of Religiosity), ALS-specific health-related quality of life (SIP/ALS-19), and ALS-specific function (ALS functional rating scale). Results: A two-way repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance revealed that both the passage of time and the specific QOL scales used were factors in predicting patient quality of life (F[1, 59]= 9.87, p < 0.003 and F[3, 177]= 16.90, p < 0.001) Despite a progressive decline in physical function as measured by the ALS-specific function score, the genera] QOL and religiosity scores changed little. In contrast, the ALS-specific health-related QOL score declined in parallel with the ALS-specific function score. Conclusions: QOL in patients with ALS appears to be independent of physical function, which agrees with a previous cross-sectional study. The ALS-specific health-related QOL score is primarily a measure of physical function. QOL instruments that assess spiritual, religious, and psychological factors produce different results than those obtained using measures of physical function alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-444
Number of pages3
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 27 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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