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BACKGROUND: The recent randomized, controlled trial of interferon-beta1b (IFN-beta1b) in 718 patients with secondary progressive MS (SP-MS) demonstrated a significant effect on the development of disability as evaluated by the physician. Its effect on patient-reported health-related quality of life (HrQoL) is reported herein. METHODS: In this multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, outpatients with SP-MS scoring between 3.0 and 6.5 on the Expanded Disability Status Scale received either 8 x 10(6) IU of IFN-beta1b or placebo for up to 3 years. A range of outcomes was measured, including HrQoL, which was assessed using the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), a self-report questionnaire validated for use in MS. Measurements were undertaken at baseline and at 6-monthly intervals thereafter for 36 months. RESULTS: A slight positive effect on the HrQoL of the IFN group in comparison with the placebo group was found, which reached significance in the physical scale of the SIP at 6 and 12 months and at last visit. There was moderate correlation between physician-assessed evaluation of change and patient-reported change. CONCLUSIONS: IFN-beta1b may delay sustained deterioration in patient-reported HrQoL in SP-MS. Methods of interpreting change in HrQoL are currently insufficiently developed to determine how clinically important these changes are for this population.


Journal article



Publication Date





1870 - 1875


Activities of Daily Living, Adult, Ambulatory Care, Disability Evaluation, Double-Blind Method, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Interferon beta-1a, Interferon beta-1b, Interferon-beta, Male, Middle Aged, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive, Quality of Life, Treatment Outcome