08-03-2004, 08:31 AM
• Norquist JM, Jenkinson C, Fitzpatrick R and Swash M (2003). Factors which predict physical and mental health status in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis over time. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Other Motor Neuron Disord. 4: 112-7. Department of Public Health, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oxford, Headington, UK. OBJECTIVES: To determine which factors are predictive of physical and mental health one year after a first measurement of health status in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. METHODS: The Physical Component Summary (PCS) score and the Mental Component Summary (MCS) score of the SF-36 were used as the main outcome measures in patients enrolled in the European ALS Health Profile Study (ALS-HPS). Correlation and stepwise regression procedures were used to determine the relationship between patients' physical and mental health status at follow-up with baseline measures. RESULTS: A total of 1118 patients were recruited into the ALS-HPS, of which 918 (82.11%) returned fully or partially completed baseline and follow-up surveys. PCS scores declined over time. No significant changes were reported for the MCS scores over time for patients with ALS. Baseline scores were found to be significant predictors of patients' health status over time. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, patients' physical health status at the time of recruitment was the major predictor of the physical health status at both first and second follow-up time assessments. The same relationship was found between baseline and follow-up mental health status. The study also confirms the appropriateness of the use of the SF-36 in ALS patients.