Background and Purpose. The health-related quality of life of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is an important aspect of care outcome. The purpose of this study was to compare health-related quality of life between patients who received weekly comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation for 1 year and a group that did not receive rehabilitation. Subjects. Twelve patients receiving outpatient care for chronic progressive MS (X̅ age=44.5 years, SD=11.6) were compared with 19 similar patients (X̅ age=49.2 years, SD=9.2) on a waiting list who were not receiving outpatient care. Methods. A pretest-posttest longitudinal design was used to descriptively compare outcome measures. Multivariate regression analyses were used to determine which variables, controlled for baseline health status and other relevant patient characteristics, were related to the best outcomes at the time of the 1-year follow-up. Results. The treatment group showed improvements in six health status measures on the Rand 36-Item Health Survey 1.0 (SF-36) that were not improved in the wait-listed group. Outpatient treatment was the sole predictor of positive outcome for energy/fatigue (partial R2=.43) and change in general health (partial R2=.19). In addition, the treatment group was associated with a positive outcome (together with other independent variables) in the domains of social function and social support. Conclusion and Discussion. Patients with chronic progressive forms of MS appear to derive benefits from an ongoing comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation program.
- Received December 9, 1996.
- Accepted May 23, 1997.