Researchers studying the accuracy of quality of life (QoL) scales in patients with myasthenia gravis recommended their use in clinical practice because some symptoms of the disease can be difficult to examine, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. 

Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune disease in which the neuromuscular junction is damaged, causing fatigability and weakness of the muscles. Current aims of therapy are to improve symptoms and restore quality of life. 

Because symptoms fluctuate and can be characterized as being subjective, physicians have used QoL questionnaires in an attempt to quantify the patient’s perception of the impact of the disease on their daily living. One questionnaire that has demonstrated reliability and longitudinal validity is the MG-QOL 15. It is also easy for physicians to interpret, the researchers said. 

The research team wanted to further investigate how well the MG-QOL 15 scores correlated with other clinical evaluation scales and whether significant improvements in QoL can be observed in patients who receive intensive treatment for myasthenia gravis. They recruited 47 patients with the disease at L’Hospitalet del Llobregat in Spain and closely followed up with them before and during prednisolone treatment. The patients were asked to complete the MG-QOL 15 and other clinically validated QoL questionnaires. 

Read more about myasthenia gravis etiology 

They discovered that 4 to 6 weeks into prednisolone therapy, a significant mean improvement in MG-QOL 15 scores could be observed. In addition, the MG-QOL 15 scores correlated strongly with other clinical scales, such as the Myasthenia Gravis-Activities of Daily Living (MG-ADL) and the Neuro-QOL Fatigue questionnaires. 

The research team wrote, “We think that to ensure a holistic health model, [health-related] QoL should be assessed in addition to other clinical examinations, which would help guide decision-making, provide additional measures of the impact of treatment, and improve the doctor–patient relationship.” 

Reference

Diez Porras L, Homedes C, Alberti MA, Velez Santamaria V, Casasnovas C. Quality of life in myasthenia gravis and correlation of MG-QOL15 with other functional scalesJ Clin Med. 2022;11(8):2189. doi:10.3390/jcm11082189