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Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder Patient experience and quality of life

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2019 Jun 20;6(4):e580. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000580. eCollection 2019 Jul.

Beekman J1, Keisler A1, Pedraza O1, Haramura M1, Gianella-Borradori A1, Katz E1, Ratchford JN1, Barron G1, Cook LJ1, Behne JM1, Blaschke TF1, Smith TJ1, Yeaman MR1.

To gain insights into NMOSD disease impact, which may negatively affect QoL of patients, their families, and social network.

The current study used validated instruments to assess physical, emotional, and socioeconomic burden of NMOSD on QoL among 193 patients.

A majority of patients reported an initial diagnosis of a disease other than NMOSD. Overall, two-thirds of patients reported NMOSD as having a strong negative impact on physical health (Short Form-36 [SF-36] score 27.1 ± 39.1), whereas emotional well-being was relatively unimpaired on average (SF-36 score 54.0 ± 44.9). A subset of patients reported having the highest category of emotional health despite worse physical health or financial burden, suggesting psychological resilience. Pain (r = 0.61) and bowel/bladder dysfunction (r = 0.41) imposed the greatest negative physical impact on overall QoL. In turn, ability to work correlated inversely with worsened health (r = -0.68). Increased pain, reduced sexual function, inability to work, and reduced QoL had greatest negative impacts on emotional well-being. Dissatisfaction with treatment options and economic burden correlated inversely with QoL.

Collectively, the current findings advance the understanding of physical, emotional, social, and financial tolls imposed by NMOSD. These insights offer potential ways to enhance QoL by managing pain, enhancing family and social networks, and facilitating active employment.

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