Quality of Life


Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) was assessed throughout the BENEFIT studies using generic measures like EQ-5D and EQ-5D VAS and the MS-specific HRQoL questionnaire FAMS.

In general, patients in the BENEFIT-11 study reported favorable HRQoL across the various measures [1,2]. For instance, the median (Q1, Q3) score EQ-5D VAS was:

  • At baseline (n=216): 85.50 (not reported)
  • At year 11 (n=234): 81.00 (70.00, 90.00)


These findings are largely consistent with those reported by general population surveys [3,4] and higher than scores published from other MS cohorts [5,6]. HRQoL tends to decrease as age increases [3,4].


EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) [7]


The EQ-5D is a well-established and widely used generic instrument for assessing health-related quality of life.


The ‘5D’ in its name refers to its use of 5 dimensions for describing health states:  mobility, usual activities, self-care, pain/discomfort and anxiety/depression. Each dimension has three levels: no problems, some problems and extreme problems.  This decision results in a 1-digit number that expresses the level selected for that dimension. The digits for the five dimensions can be combined into a 5-digit number that describes the patient’s health state, ranging from 11111 (having no problems in any of the dimensions) to 33333 (having extreme problems in all the dimensions).


The EQ VAS records the patient’s self-rated health on a vertical visual analogue scale where the endpoints are labelled ‘Best imaginable health state’ and ‘Worst imaginable health state’. The VAS can be used as a quantitative measure of health outcomes that reflects the patient’s own judgement and ranges from 100 (best imaginable health status) to 0 (worst imaginable health status).



Return to overview of BENEFIT long-term study outcomes


EQ-5D: EuroQol-5 Dimensions
VAS: Visual Analogue Scale
FAMS: Functional Assessment of Multiple Sclerosis


  • Kappos L et al. European Association of Neurology (EAN) Annual Meeting 2015, Poster 4141. Return to content
  • Kappos L et al. Neurology 2016; 87(10): 978-87. Return to content
  • Szende A et al. Self-Reported Population Health: An International Perspective based on EQ-5D. Heidelberg, New York, London: Springer Open; 2014. Return to content
  • Mielck A et al. Gesundheitswesen 2010; 72: 476-86. Return to content
  • Reese JP et al. Health Qual Life Outcomes 2013; 11: 162. Return to content
  • Yalachkova Y et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2019; 30: 33-7. Return to content
  • https://euroqol.org/euroqol/ (Accessed 18 August, 2022). Return to content
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