Journal of Neurology

, Volume 257, Issue 4, pp 584–589 | Cite as

Improvement of health-related quality of life in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients after 2 years of treatment with intramuscular interferon-beta-1a

  • Peter Joseph Jongen
  • Christian Sindic
  • Herwig Carton
  • Cees Zwanikken
  • Wim Lemmens
  • George Borm
  • The Functional composite and quality of Life in Avonex-treated Relapsing multiple sclerosis patients (FLAIR) study group
Original Communication


In patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), the effect of interferon-beta (INFb) on health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) is not firmly documented. The objective of this study is to assess HR-QoL during 2 years of treatment with intramuscular INFb and its correlation with disability. In 36 neurological practices in the Netherlands (17), Belgium (16), United Kingdom (2) and Luxemburg (1), 284 RRMS patients were treated with intramuscular INFb-1a. Physical and mental domains of HR-QoL were measured by the MS54 Quality of Life (MS54QoL) questionnaire, and disability was assessed by the Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite (MSFC) (Timed 25-Foot Walk Test [Timed 25-FWT], 9 Hole Peg Test [9-HPT], Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test [PASAT]) at baseline and at months 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24. Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was assessed at baseline and month 24. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were determined and predefined factors were analyzed for relation to HR-QoL after baseline by stepwise regression analyses on physical and mental scores. 204 patients (71.8%) completed 2 years of treatment. Mean values for MS54QoL increased from 56.6 to 61.0 for physical (p < 0.05) and from 57.2 to 61.1 for mental domain (p = 0.07). Correlations between physical domain and MSFC was −0.40 (p < 0.05), and between mental domain and MSFC −0.24 (p < 0.05). MSFC and EDSS did not change. Increase of physical MS54QoL was associated with lower age, lower EDSS, less time for Timed 25-FWT, and higher PASAT score at baseline. Increase of mental MS54QoL was associated with higher PASAT and lower EDSS. Patients who discontinued INFb had lower physical or mental HR-QoL at baseline. In RRMS patients, 2 years of treatment with intramuscular INFb-1a is associated with an increase in HR-QoL, especially in younger patients with low disability.


Multiple sclerosis Interferon-beta Intramuscular Health-related quality of life Disability 



We thank Biogen Idec International, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands for unrestricted funding of the study. We are grateful to patients, nurses and secretaries for their invaluable contributions.

Supplementary material

415_2009_5378_MOESM1_ESM.doc (644 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 644 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Joseph Jongen
    • 1
  • Christian Sindic
    • 2
  • Herwig Carton
    • 3
  • Cees Zwanikken
    • 4
  • Wim Lemmens
    • 5
  • George Borm
    • 5
  • The Functional composite and quality of Life in Avonex-treated Relapsing multiple sclerosis patients (FLAIR) study group
  1. 1.MS4 Research InstituteNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Cliniques Universitaires St LucUniversité Catholique de LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  4. 4.Multiple Sclerosis Centre NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Health Technology AssessmentRadboud University Nijmegen Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands

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