FuPro - MS

V. de Groot, MD,  G.J. Lankhorst, MD, PhD C.H. Polman, MD, PhD L.M. Bouter, PhD

OBJECTIVES
To answer the following research questions: 1) Which outcome measures are most appropriate for the description of functional outcome in MS? 2) What are the determinants of functional prognosis?


METHODS
This observational cohort study with a follow-up of three years will be based on 150 recently diagnosed MS patients. The responsiveness of several outcome measures will be assessed on the basis of ROC curves and effect sizes. The Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), which despite criticism is still the preferential outcome scale, will be used as an external criterion for responsiveness. Potential determinants will include measurements of (a) patient characteristics, (b) disease characteristics, (c) neurological and cognitive impairments, (d) disability status, (e) quality of life status, (f) personality and social environment characteristics, (g) treatments and use of rehabilitation services, and (h) comorbidity. Models of prognosis with regard to disability and quality of life will be constructed by applying multiple regression analysis and repeated measures analysis.

RESULTS 
Data-collection will be completed in February 2004. Inclusion ended in January 2001. 157 Patients were measured at baseline (mean age 37.6 (9.4) years; gender: 34.8% male, 65.2% female; type of MS: Relapsing Remitting 70.3%, Primary Progressive 12.3%, not yet known 17.4%). So far, 154 patients have been measured again after six months, 149 after one year, 147 after two years and 139 after three years.


PUBLICATION
Groot V, de, H. Beckerman, G.J. Lankhorst, L.M. Bouter (2003). How to Measure Comorbidity: A Critical Review of Available Methods.Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 56(3) (in press) Download Appendix

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