Purpose: To evaluate health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in Japanese patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and investigate associations between the results of these QOL assessments and disease severity. Methods: One-hundred sixty-three Japanese MS patients completed a questionnaire battery comprising the Functional Assessment of MS (FAMS), the Nottingham Adjustment Scale-Japanese version (NAS-J), and the European QOL scale (EQ-5D). Additional five factors affecting QOL as identified by MS patients in a focus group interview were also investigated: employment status, change of income, availability of disease information, communication with medical staff, and care received. Disease severity was determined using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Results: There was a strong negative correlation of the subscale scores for mobility, symptoms, emotional well-being, thinking and fatigue, and additional concerns on the FAMS with EDSS score. For the NAS-J, only acceptance of the condition was correlated with disease severity. Among the five additional aspects of the condition identified by patients, employment status, income, and disease information were shown to be important for maintaining QOL in patients with MS. Conclusions: Support for finding employment and having increased or maintained household income and readily available information about the disease contribute to improving QOL in Japanese MS patients.
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