Author(s): Twork S, Wiesmeth S, Klewer J, Phlau D, Kugler J
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a chronic neuromuscular disease. Advances in medical therapy have continuously increased the life expectancy of MG patients, without definitively curing the disease. To analyze life circumstances and quality of life (QoL), a large German MG cohort was investigated. METHODS AND SAMPLE: In cooperation with the German Myasthenia Association, 2,150 patients with confirmed MG were asked to respond to a mailed questionnaire. The standardized questions related to demographic data, impairments, therapeutic course, use of complementary therapies, illness-related costs, and quality of life (SF-36). In total, 1,518 patients participated, yielding a response rate of 70.6\%. The average age was 56.7 years, and the proportion of females 58.6\%. RESULTS: Despite receiving recommended therapy, many patients still suffered from MG-related impairments. In particular, mobility and mental well-being were reduced; moreover, quality of life was markedly reduced. Stepwise linear regression analysis revealed illness stability, impairments, mental conditions, comorbid diseases, and employment to be determinants of QoL. CONCLUSION: Results indicate that despite prolonged life expectancy among MG patients, health-related quality of life is low. This outcome resulted mainly from impaired mobility and depression. Physical and mental well-being might be improved by additional therapy options. Additionally, health care resources could be used more efficiently in these patients.
This article was published in Health Qual Life Outcomes
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation