Background: No consensus exists which quality of life (QoL) measure should be used in patients with inflammatory neuropathies. Moreover, most QoL measures are ordinal-based scales with their known deficiencies.
Objectives: To establish a new disease-specific interval-based QoL questionnaire in inflammatory neuropathies (IN-QoL) using the Rasch model and evaluate its scientific properties (validity, reliability and responsiveness).
Methods: 264 patients with inflammatory neuropathies completed six commonly used QoL questionnaires. The obtained data were stacked and subjected to Rasch analysis. Responsiveness was determined by using the concept of minimum clinically important differences related to varying individually obtained SEs (responsiveness definition: MCID-SE≥1.96 after 1-year follow-up compared with baseline).
Results: The IN-QoL fulfilled all Rasch's model requirements with high internal reliability values (patient separation index of 0.94), except being multidimensional. Additional factor analysis resulted in two (functional and mental) subsets that were unidimensional on their own. The IN-QoL showed good correlation with the EuroQol-health quality visual analogue scale (EQ-VAS) (Spearman's rho 0.72). It demonstrated acceptable responsiveness in patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), as did the EQ-VAS. In patients with monoclonal gammopathy-related neuropathy and multifocal motor neuropathy, hardly any changes were seen over time.
Conclusion: The IN-QoL questionnaire fulfils modern clinimetric requirements and correlates strongly with a patient's self-assessment of their own quality of health, while also showing responsiveness in patients with GBS and CIDP. We propose using the IN-QoL and the EQ-VAS for assessing the QoL of patients with inflammatory neuropathies in future studies.
Keywords: Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP); Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS); IgM-monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance-related polyneuropathy (MGUSP); Quality of Life (QoL); multifocal motor neuropathy (MMN); peripheral neuropathy.
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