People with MS in Greece, dancing in pairs

Thessaloniki, Greece, 10/2011. Manolis Tsatsiadis dances with Olga Emmanoulidou while Tatiana Lazou (back left) partners with Matina Georgaki during a theatre class designed to integrate both able-bodied and disabled people. This Sunday night outing, one of many theatre activities organised by Zina Kostelidou, is the highlight of Manolis’ week. Credit: Maximiliano Braun. Published on this website by kind permission of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform.

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.

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 is 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.

To enhance the lives of people with MS, we have published the Principles to promote the quality of life of people with MS [PDF, 2MB].