Background: The assessment of health-related quality of life (hrQoL) is an important tool in therapy studies and in the treatment of patients with Huntington's disease (HD). In the absence of causal interventions, HD therapy targets the alleviation of symptoms aiming to improve impaired hrQoL. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of disease characteristics on hrQoL in HD.
Methods: A total of 80 genetically confirmed HD patients underwent an assessment using the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, the Hamilton Rating Scale and the SF-36, a scale for the assessment of physical and mental QoL.
Results: Multiple regression analysis revealed that health-related physical and mental QoL was considerably influenced by the functional capacity. The mental QoL also correlated with the degree of depressive symptoms, age and the number of CAG repeats. However, there was no statistical relation between QoL and motor and cognitive abilities.
Discussion: This study underlines the relationship between function capacity and depressive symptoms with mental and physical QoL. This is the first time that hrQoL has been investigated in a German speaking cohort. The results are in accordance with previous studies of hrQoL in HD.