Quality of Life Research

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 1231–1238 | Cite as

Health-related quality of life and supportive care in patients with rare long-term neurological conditions

  • Melanie CalvertEmail author
  • Hardev PallEmail author
  • Thomas Hoppitt
  • Benjamin Eaton
  • Edward Savill
  • Catherine Sackley
Brief Communication



Rare long-term neurological conditions (rLTNCs) may have significant impact on patients’ health-related quality of life (HRQL); however, evidence is sparse. We assessed HRQL and access to supportive care in patients with rLTNCs.


Survey of patients with rare rLTNCs (motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease, cerebellar ataxia, progressive supranuclear palsy, multiple system atrophy, Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease and postpolio syndrome) to assess current access to health and social care, and HRQL using the Euroqol EQ-5D.


A total of 266 participants with rLTNCs completed the survey. The HRQL of patients is substantially reduced compared to the general population. Many patients reported pain, were anxious or depressed and experienced problems with mobility, self-care and usual activities (mean EQ-5D index scores ranged from 0.2 to 0.44). Although some patients have accessed rehabilitative services, results suggest care coordination could be improved.


Rare long-term neurological conditions have a significant impact on HRQL. Many patients with rLTNCs do not seem to be accessing the level of health and social care services that could improve their HRQL.


Health-related Quality of Life Long-term neurological conditions EQ-5D Service access 



The study was part of the RESULT study which was funded by the UK Department of Health Policy Research Programme. The authors thank Ms Helen Duffy for administrative support in preparation of the manuscript.

Conflicts of interest

No conflicts of interest are declared.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melanie Calvert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hardev Pall
    • 2
    Email author
  • Thomas Hoppitt
    • 1
  • Benjamin Eaton
    • 1
  • Edward Savill
    • 1
  • Catherine Sackley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Health and Population SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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