Understanding How Chorea Affects Health-Related Quality of Life in Huntington Disease: An Online Survey of Patients and Caregivers in the United States

Patient. 2018 Oct;11(5):547-559. doi: 10.1007/s40271-018-0312-x.


Background: Chorea is the hallmark motor feature of Huntington disease (HD) and can negatively impact daily functioning and health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate how chorea impacts HRQoL and overall functioning among HD patients participating on the PatientsLikeMe website ( www.PatientsLikeMe.com ).

Methods: A survey was provided to HD participants and/or their caregivers via PatientsLikeMe (9 February 2017-22 March 2017), comprising multiple-choice and open-ended questions designed to assess how chorea impacts HRQoL and overall functioning, and the importance of treating chorea. The HDQLIFE measurement system was used to evaluate patient-reported outcomes of chorea and compare Anxiety and Stigma scores in participants with high chorea versus those with low chorea [HDQLIFE Chorea scores ≥ 60 (n = 45) vs. < 60 (n = 38)].

Results: A total of 115 participants (n = 35 caregivers; n = 80 individuals with HD) were included in this study. Among those experiencing chorea (n = 83, 74% of respondents), 66% indicated it was 'Very Important' to manage chorea; however, only 47% agreed that their current medication regimen helped manage their movements. In general, respondents reported that chorea negatively affected HRQoL [HDQLIFE Chorea mean score (standard deviation): 59.3 (6.1)]. Consistent with this, significantly higher Anxiety (P = 0.0423) and stigma (P < 0.0001) scores were observed among respondents with high chorea than in those with low chorea.

Conclusions: These results highlight the negative impact of chorea on HRQoL and overall functioning in individuals with HD. Better chorea treatment options are needed to successfully manage symptoms and to help improve HRQoL in these individuals, and patient experiences of anxiety and stigma should be considered in treatment plans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Chorea / etiology*
  • Chorea / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / complications*
  • Huntington Disease / psychology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patients / psychology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Young Adult