Background: Quality of life (QoL) assessment in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has typically involved the use of general or disease-specific health status questionnaires. This study assessed the feasibility of using a patient-centered approach to QoL measurement in ALS.
Objectives: (1) To assess the internal consistency reliability and validity of the Schedule for the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL) as a measure of QoL in ALS. (2) To provide a brief description of QoL in ALS, and to examine the relationships between QoL, illness severity and psychological distress in this group.
Methods: Twenty-six patients with ALS were recruited through the Irish Register for ALS/motor neurone disease (MND). Illness severity was assessed with the ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS). Levels of psychological distress were measured with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Individual QoL was assessed with SEIQoL.
Results: Patients were at various stages of ALS. Mean levels of anxiety and depression were in the normal range. Twenty-one patients completed SEIQoL; five patients completed a shorter version, SEIQoL-Direct Weighting (SEIQoL-DW). Internal consistency reliability and validity results for SEIQoL were high.
Conclusions: SEIQoL is generally acceptable for use in ALS in terms of its practical feasibility, and has high internal validity and consistency reliability in this patient group. However, patients severely disabled by ALS may not be able to complete SEIQoL; further research is required to confirm the use of SEIQoL-DW as an alternative measure of individual QoL in ALS.