Fatigue and quality of life in pediatric multiple sclerosis

William S. MacAllister, Christopher Christodoulou, Regina Troxell, Maria Milazzo, Pamela Block, Thomas E. Preston, Heidi A. Bender, Anita Belman, Lauren B. Krupp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Fatigue and quality of life are significant concerns in adult multiple sclerosis (MS) but little is known about these factors in pediatric MS. The present investigation evaluates fatigue and quality of life in 51 pediatric MS patients to determine the rate of fatigue and reduced quality of life and assesses the relations between these variables and clinical factors. Fatigue and quality of life were assessed by self- and parent-report via the PedsQL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale and the PedsQL Quality of Life Scale. One-sample t-tests determined if scores were below published data for healthy individuals. Moreover, scores falling one standard deviation from norms were considered mildly affected, with severe difficulties being defined as scores falling two or more standard deviations from norms. Associations between self- and parent-reported difficulties and clinical factors were examined via Pearson correlation analyses. In comparison with healthy samples, pediatric MS patients reported greater difficulties with respect to fatigue, sleep, cognition, physical limitations, and academics. In addition to significant difficulties on these factors, parents reported problems with respect to emotional functioning, and tended to report greater fatigue, sleep, and cognitive difficulties than were self-reported. Expanded Disability Status Scale score was the only neurologic variable significantly related to fatigue or quality of life scores. Fatigue was significantly correlated with reports of sleep difficulties, cognitive problems, and quality of life variables. These findings suggest that fatigue and poorer quality of life is a clear concern in pediatric MS, and is related to overall physical disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1502-1508
Number of pages7
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Fatigue
  • Pediatric multiple sclerosis
  • Quality of life


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