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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2014, Article ID 203183, 8 pages
Research Article

Symptoms and Association with Health Outcomes in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Results of a US Patient Survey

1MedImmune, Global Payer Evidence, Riverside 2 Building, Granta Park, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire CB32 6GH, UK
2Kantar Health, Health Outcomes Practice, Paleocapa 7, 20121 Milan, Italy
3Kantar Health, Health Outcomes Practice, The Kirkgate, 19-31 Church Street, Epsom, Surrey KT17 4PF, UK
4MedImmune, Clinical Development, 1 MedImmune Way, Gaithersburg, MD 20878, USA

Received 20 June 2014; Accepted 8 September 2014; Published 23 September 2014

Academic Editor: Francesco Patti

Copyright © 2014 Angela E. Williams et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. A variety of symptoms have been reported, but the prevalence of specific symptoms in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), how they are related to one another, and their impact on patient reported outcomes is not well understood. Objective. To describe how symptoms of RRMS cooccur and their impact on patient-reported outcomes. Methods. Individuals who reported a physician diagnosis of RRMS in a large general health survey in the United States indicated the symptoms they experience because of RRMS and completed validated scales, including the work productivity and activity impairment questionnaire and either the SF-12v2 or SF-36v2. Symptom clusters were identified through hierarchical cluster analysis, and the relationship between clusters and outcomes was assessed through regression. Results. Fatigue, difficulty walking, and numbness were the most commonly reported symptoms. Seven symptom clusters were identified, and several were significantly related to patient reported outcomes. Pain, muscle spasms, and stiffness formed a cluster strongly related to physical quality of life; depression was strongly related to mental quality of life and cognitive difficulty was associated with work impairment. Conclusions. Symptoms in RRMS show a strong relationship with quality of life and should be taken into consideration in treatment decisions and evaluation of treatment success.