Validation of the functional assessment of multiple sclerosis quality of life instrument

Neurology. 1996 Jul;47(1):129-39. doi: 10.1212/wnl.47.1.129.


Based on scientific literature and interviews with clinicians and patients, we developed a quality of life instrument for use with people with MS called the Functional Assessment of Multiple Sclerosis (FAMS). The initial item pool consisted of 88 questions: 28 from the general version of the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy quality of life instrument, plus 60 generated by patients, providers, and literature review. The validation samples comprised a mail survey cohort (N = 377) and a clinical cohort (N = 56). Both cohorts provides evidence for internal consistency of the derived subscales, test-retest reliability, content validity, concurrent validity, and construct validity. Principal components and Rasch measurement model analyses were applied sequentially to survey sample data, reducing test length to 44 questions, divided into six subscales: mobility, symptoms, emotional well-being (depression), general contentment, thinking/fatigue, and family/social well-being. Fifteen initially rejected questions were added back as miscellaneous (unscored) questions for their potential clinical and empirical value. The mobility subscale was strongly predictive of the Kurtzke Extended Disability Status Scale and the Scripps Neurologic Rating Scales. The other five subscales were not, indicating they measure aspects of patient quality of life not captured by the neurologic exam. The final 59-item English language instrument (FAMS version 2) is available for inclusion in clinical trials and clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires