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Symptom Cluster and Quality of Life: Preliminary Evidence in Multiple Sclerosis

Motl, Robert W.; McAuley, Edward

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0b013e3181e26c5f

ABSTRACT: This study examined the symptom cluster of fatigue, pain, and depression as a correlate of reduced quality of life (QOL) in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The sample included 291 individuals with a definite diagnosis of MS who were enrolled in a 6-month longitudinal study of physical activity and QOL. The participants completed baseline measures of fatigue, depression, and pain and follow-up measures of QOL. Cluster analysis initially identified three subgroups differing in experiences of fatigue, depression, and pain, and analysis of variance then indicated that the three subgroups differed in QOL. The subgroup with lowest scores on all three symptoms had the highest QOL, whereas the subgroup with the highest scores on the symptoms had the worst QOL. Such findings provide preliminary support for fatigue, pain, and depression as a symptom cluster that correlates with reduced QOL in persons with MS.

Author Information

Edward McAuley, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Robert W. Motl, PhD, at He is an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL.

© 2010 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses