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Neurology and Public Health
August 2000

Health-Related Quality of Life in Neurology

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Health Services (Drs Meyers and Hendricks), Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, Boston, Mass; Department of Economics, University of Surrey, Guildford, England (Ms Gage); and Economics Section, Center for Health Quality, Outcomes, and Economic Research, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bedford, Mass (Dr Hendricks). Dr Meyers is deceased.



Arch Neurol. 2000;57(8):1224-1227. doi:10.1001/archneur.57.8.1224

Context  In a climate of growing concern about costs of health care, professional accountability, and the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment, neurologists should understand measures of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and appreciate both their values and their limits.

Objective  To provide a critical review of current concepts in the measurement of HRQoL, with particular emphasis on those pertaining to neurologic conditions.

Design  A selective overview of measurement strategies and specific instruments.

Setting  Clinical and research settings.

Participants  Special attention to people with such conditions as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease.

Main Outcome Measures  The utility and relevance to neurologists of available measures of HRQoL.

Results  There are both generic and condition- or disease-specific measures of HRQoL. Though many measures do not elicit response or are even offensive to people with such conditions as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson disease, other measures pertain directly to their circumstances and needs.

Conclusions  Measures of HRQoL are both meaningful and relevant to neurologists. However, they must be refined—enabled—and used in combinations to address the clinical and existential realities of many neurologic conditions.