Quality of life in long term ventilated adult patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Crescimanno G, Greco F, D’Alia R, Messina L, Marrone O. Quality of life in long term ventilated adult patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neuromuscular Disord 2019


The aim of this study was to evaluate quality of life (QoL) and its possible determinants in patients affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in late stages of their disease, when non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is already established. Forty-eight DMD patients who were treated by NIV were enrolled. QoL was assessed by the Individualized Neuromuscular Quality of Life (INQoL) questionnaire. By this questionnaire, different aspects of QoL were assessed on a scale from 0 (best) to 100 (worst). In addition, motor and respiratory function tests were performed. Dysautonomia symptoms, sleep quality, sleepiness, anxiety, and depression were evaluated by validated questionnaires. The global INQoL score was 42.8+/-19, reflecting a moderately altered QoL. The physical health domain was heavily impaired while the psychosocial domain was only mildly affected. Independence had the highest scores (81.1+/-21.2), proving to be the most affected item. On multivariate analysis, maximal inspiratory pressure and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, but not daily duration of NIV therapy, predicted global INQoL score. Respiratory impairment and sleep quality were independent predictors of poor QoL in DMD patients under NIV. Sleep quality in DMD is often disregarded, while it should be carefully addressed to ensure a better QoL.

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