Clinical significance in the change of decline in ALSFRS-R

Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2010;11(1-2):178-80. doi: 10.3109/17482960903093710.


Our objective was to survey ALS clinicians and researchers regarding what percentage reduction in the ALSFRS-R (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale - Revised) slope they would consider clinically meaningful. A nine-question survey was provided to 65 members of the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS). They were asked to rate the clinical relevance of 10-50% changes in decline of the ALSFRS-R slope on a seven-point scale (1-7), where 1='not at all clinically meaningful', 4='somewhat clinically meaningful', and 7='very clinically meaningful'. Ninety per cent of participants rated a 20% change in the decline of the ALSFRS-R score as the percentage in which a somewhat clinically significant change starts to be noted (i.e. score of 4 or higher). All participants endorsed a 25% or higher change in the ALSFRS-R score as at least somewhat clinically meaningful (score of 4 or higher). Ninety-three per cent of the participants viewed a 50% change in decline as very clinically meaningful (score of 7). This survey demonstrated that the majority of clinicians and clinical researchers surveyed believe that a therapy that resulted in a change of 20% or greater in the slope of the ALSFRS-R would be clinically meaningful.

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Disease Progression
  • Health Care Surveys*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Neurology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards