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Novel disease-specific scale confirms huge impact of fatigue

Presented by
Marion Azoulai, Carenity, France
ECF 2020
A real-world study in US adults with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) confirmed that fatigue has a huge impact on day-to-day functioning in most patients with relapsing MS. Fatigue increases with symptom exacerbation, depression, sleep disorders, and pain. The Fatigue Symptoms and Impacts Questionnaire-Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (FSIQ-RMS) is a novel MS-specific assessment that can advance the understanding and management of fatigue.

Fatigue is defined by subjective experience and measured via patient-reported outcome (PRO) instruments. PRO tools that are MS-specific can improve understanding of MS fatigue and its impact, improving its clinical management. However, currently available PROs that assess MS-related fatigue do not meet instrument development and psychometric property requirements based on current guidelines.

The FSIQ-RMS is a novel MS-specific PRO instrument, which was developed to assess both fatigue in patients with relapsing MS and its impact on physical activity, cognitive and emotional functioning, and coping mechanisms [1]. An ongoing non-interventional prospective, longitudinal study, presented by Marion Azoulai (Carenity, France), aimed at measuring MS-related fatigue symptoms and its impact on daily life in a real-world population using a self-administered online questionnaire, including the FSIQ-RMS [2].

A total of 200 relapsing MS patients completed the 7-day assessment. The most impactful symptoms on daily functioning were fatigue and walking difficulties. Patients with lower disability rated fatigue as the most impactful symptom on daily life. A majority of patients (55%) experienced fatigue before MS diagnosis. Most patients (76%) were not currently relapsing, and these had a mean fatigue symptom domain score of 55.6, compared with 67.3 in relapsing patients. A majority of patients were not depressed (54%) and did not report a sleep disorder (71%). Heat exposure was the most common triggering factor for fatigue (82%).

In conclusion, this survey showed that fatigue occurred in most MS patients and influenced their daily functioning. The FSIQ-RMS measures fatigue symptoms and impact, which is relevant and meaningful to patients.

  1. Hudgens S. Value Health. 2019;22(4):453-466.
  2. Azoulai M, et al. A real-world study characterizing symptoms and impacts of fatigue in US adults with relapsing multiple sclerosis using a novel disease specific scale. ECF 28th Annual Meeting. Abstract 38.

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