Relationship between quality of life and dysarthria in patients with multiple sclerosis

Valentina Piacentini, Ilaria Mauri, Davide Cattaneo, Marco Gilardone, Angelo Montesano, Antonio Schindler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To evaluate dysarthria and dysarthria-related quality of life (QOL) and analyze its relations with duration of disease, severity, and general QOL in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Design Cross-sectional observational study.

Setting Rehabilitation center.

Participantsg Consecutive patients with MS (N=163) were recruited (mean age, 52±10.4y; mean MS duration, 19±10.4y).

Interventions Not applicable.

Main Outcome Measures Presence of dysarthria; dysarthria characteristics; MS severity and duration; and dysarthria-related and generic QOL were evaluated by means of the therapy outcome measure scale; Robertson profile; Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), years of disease; QOL of the dysarthric speaker questionnaire; and Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), respectively.

Results The mean EDSS score was 6.5±1.3. Dysarthria affected 57 (35%) of the 163 patients. Dysarthria severity was mild in most of the 57 patients with dysarthria. Median Robertson profile scores were slightly but significantly higher in the nondysarthric group compared with the dysarthric group (P=.001). The QOL for the dysarthric speaker questionnaire was significantly more compromised in patients with dysarthria (P=.001). No difference on the SF-36 scores between patients with and without dysarthria was found, with the exception of the physical activity and physical pain subscales. The QOL for the dysarthric speaker questionnaire showed no correlation with MS duration and a weak correlation with EDSS score (r=.25). Correlations between the SF-36 and QOL for the dysarthric speaker scores were few and weak, with the exception of the role limitations because of emotions (r=-.428) and mental health subscales (r=-.383).

Conclusions Dysarthria-related QOL is compromised in patients with MS and dysarthria and might be used as a supplementary measure in clinical practice and research for patients who have MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2047-2054
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Dysarthria
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)


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