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Qual Life Res. 2012 Dec;21(10):1677-84. doi: 10.1007/s11136-011-0108-0. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

The impact of a recent relapse on patient-reported outcomes in subjects with multiple sclerosis.

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Partners Multiple Sclerosis Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 6th Floor, 1 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA 02445, USA.



In this study, we estimate the impact of a recent relapse on physical and mental health in subjects with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) using validated patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures.


Subjects enrolled in the Comprehensive Longitudinal Investigation of MS at the Brigham and Women's Hospital with RRMS were eligible for enrollment. Subjects with a clinical visit within 45 days of a relapse were identified and divided into groups based on whether the relapse occurred before (recent relapse) (n = 59) or after the visit (pre-relapse) (n = 31). A group of subjects with no relapses was also identified (remission) (n = 336). PRO measures in these three groups were compared. All outcomes were compared using a t test and linear regression controlling for age, disease duration, sex, and EDSS.


Subjects with a recent relapse had significantly worse functioning on several physical and mental health scales compared to subjects in remission even after adjusting for potential confounders. Subjects with a recent relapse also showed significant deterioration on PRO measures over 1 year compared to subjects in remission (P < 0.05 for each comparison). Subjects in the pre-relapse group were not significantly different than subjects in remission.


Clinical relapses have a measurable effect on PRO in subjects with RRMS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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