Chronic inflammatory neuropathies represent a heterogeneous group of disorders which affect patients' functional status and quality of life. We conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature on the effects of both disease and treatment interventions on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in this patient population. The available data are limited, as few studies have systematically considered HRQoL in patients with inflammatory neuropathies. Moreover, in treatment trials, HRQoL measures have exclusively been used as secondary outcome measures. There is some evidence suggesting that baseline pre-treatment HRQoL reports are lower in patients with chronic inflammatory neuropathy than in age and gender-matched controls. Following treatment interventions, improvements in self-reported measures were consistently documented in the physical domain of HRQoL, which in turn correlated with improvements in traditional strength and functional scales. The impact of available treatments on the quality of life of patients with inflammatory neuropathies remains largely under-investigated. Interestingly, recent, although limited evidence from generic HRQoL measures may partly or completely contradict the results found with the primary, traditional outcome measures used (rituximab for anti-MAG neuropathy; immunoglobulins versus corticosteroids for chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy). Similarly, HRQoL measures may suggest superiority, rather than equivalence, of certain drug administration methods (subcutaneous over intravenous immunoglobulins). Further research is needed to assess HRQOL in patients with untreated chronic inflammatory neuropathies in comparison to normative values, as well as precisely quantify treatment benefit. The role of both generic and disease-specific HRQoL measures in the evaluation of patients with chronic inflammatory neuropathies is also worthy of further consideration.
- anti-MAG neuropathy
- chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- chronic inflammatory neuropathy
- multifocal motor neuropathy
- psychometric instruments
- quality of life