Walking speed and health-related quality of life in multiple sclerosis

Patient. 2014;7(1):55-61. doi: 10.1007/s40271-013-0028-x.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between slower walking and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Methods: We used North American Research Committee on Multiple Sclerosis data to conduct a study of participants completing both the regular semiannual and supplemental spring 2010 surveys. Question 10 of the 12-item Multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale ("How much has your MS slowed down your walking?") was used to assess patient-perceived impact of walking speed on HRQoL.HRQoL assessments included the Short Form-12 (SF-12),EuroQoL-5 Dimension (EQ-5D), Short Form-6 Dimension(SF-6D), and a visual analog scale (VAS).

Results: A total of 3,670 registrants completed both surveys and were included. Unadjusted analyses showed that compared with those classifying the impact of MS on walking speed as "not at all" (n = 661), participants stating MS impacted their walking speed "a little" (n = 722), "moderately" (n = 486), "quite a bit" (n = 714), and "extremely" (n = 1,087) reported poorerSF-12 physical component scale (PCS) (r = -0.69,p\0.001), mental component scale (MCS) (r = -0.16,p\0.001), and health status index scores (r = -0.50 to-0.51 for the EQ-VAS, EQ-5D and SF-6D, p\0.001 for all). After adjustment for demographics and additional MS related disability and symptoms, the impact of walking speed remained significant, although less profound for the PCS (reductions of 3.59 –12.31 across walking speed classifications)and index scores (reductions ranging from 1.98 to 14.06, 0.04 to 0.13, and 0.02 to 0.07 for the EQ-VAS,EQ-5D, and SF-6D). Reduction in walking speed was no longer associated with a worse MCS (p[0.05 all classifications of walking speed).

Conclusion: Incremental decrements in HRQoL were observed as patients perceived greater levels of reduction in their walking speed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Walking*