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Intravenous immunoglobulin treatment in autoimmune neurological disorders: pilot study on early effects on patients' quality of life

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We performed a multi-perspective follow up in 25 patients with autoimmune neurological disorders treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) to evaluate the early effects on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Diagnoses were based on clinical picture, neurophysiological assessment, nerve biopsy, and therapeutic response. As patient-oriented assessment, we used the Short Form 36 questionnaire (SF-36), the most used generic health tool, and the disability of arm shoulder and hand questionnaire (DASH). Our data indicate that physical aspects of patients' HRQoL improve early and strongly after IVIg. This agrees with the muscle strength improvement previously reported. But, the mental aspects of the HRQoL are not influenced by the therapies. Traditional outcome assessment in neurological diseases has always been based on physician-derived and instrumental findings. Over the last two decades, clinical researchers have underlined the need for a standardized evaluation of concepts such as HRQoL. We believe that this study represents a further step toward an evidence-based therapeutic approach of some neurological diseases and that further fundamental steps should be taken.
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Keywords: SF-36; health-related quality of life; intravenous immunoglobulin; neuropathy; outcome research

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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