Fatigue and quality of life in pediatric multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 2009 Dec;15(12):1502-8. doi: 10.1177/1352458509345902. Epub 2009 Nov 13.


Fatigue and quality of life are significant concerns in adult multiple sclerosis (MS) but little is known about these factors in pediatric MS. The present investigation evaluates fatigue and quality of life in 51 pediatric MS patients to determine the rate of fatigue and reduced quality of life and assesses the relations between these variables and clinical factors. Fatigue and quality of life were assessed by self- and parent-report via the PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale and the PedsQL Quality of Life Scale. One-sample t-tests determined if scores were below published data for healthy individuals. Moreover, scores falling one standard deviation from norms were considered mildly affected, with severe difficulties being defined as scores falling two or more standard deviations from norms. Associations between self- and parent-reported difficulties and clinical factors were examined via Pearson correlation analyses. In comparison with healthy samples, pediatric MS patients reported greater difficulties with respect to fatigue, sleep, cognition, physical limitations, and academics. In addition to significant difficulties on these factors, parents reported problems with respect to emotional functioning, and tended to report greater fatigue, sleep, and cognitive difficulties than were self-reported. Expanded Disability Status Scale score was the only neurologic variable significantly related to fatigue or quality of life scores. Fatigue was significantly correlated with reports of sleep difficulties, cognitive problems, and quality of life variables. These findings suggest that fatigue and poorer quality of life is a clear concern in pediatric MS, and is related to overall physical disability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Educational Status
  • Emotions
  • Fatigue / diagnosis
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Fatigue / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / complications*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Quality of Life*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep
  • Social Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires