Quality of Life of Children and Adolescents with Multiple Sclerosis-A Literature Review of the Quantitative Evidence

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Aug 16;18(16):8645. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18168645.


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease of the central nervous system that also develops in patients under 18 years of age. The disease negatively affects the quality of life (QoL) of children and adolescents. We conducted a literature review. The aim of the review was to identify the QoL of pediatric patients with MS and assess the factors determining their QoL.

Methods: We analyzed studies published between 2000 and 2020 in PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, Web of Science, and EBSCO databases.

Results: In all, 17 studies were included in the review. The most common tool in assessing QoL was the generic module PedsQL. The range of mean/median global score of QoL was 53.8-81.7. The worst QoL was dominantly reported in the school and emotional spheres, on the contrary, the disease's least determined area of QoL was the social and physical dimension. In particular, disability and fatigue were important predictors of QoL.

Conclusions: MS negatively affects the school and emotional spheres in particular, so it is important to pay greater attention to these spheres of life of MS patients. As the review studies pay insufficient attention to the analysis of positive factors and their impact on the QoL of MS patients, research should integrate these phenomena. The use of MS-targeted tools in future research in the pediatric MS population is also appropriate.

Keywords: adolescent; children; disability; emotional dimension of QoL; fatigue; multiple sclerosis; quality of life; school dimension of QoL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Fatigue
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Quality of Life