Advance Care Planning and Health-Related Quality of Life in Huntington Disease: Results from a Multicenter National Study

Leonard L. Sokol, Jonathan P. Troost, Danny Bega, Benzi M. Kluger, Holly G. Prigerson, Martha Nance, Samuel Frank, Joel S. Perlmutter, Praveen Dayalu, David Cella, Noelle E. Carlozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: With Huntington disease (HD), a fatal neurodegenerative disease where the prevalence of suicidal thoughts and behavior (STB) remains elevated as compared to other neurological disorders, it is unknown whether STB and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) affect plans for the end of life or more broadly, advance care planning (ACP). Conversely, it is unknown whether ACP would provoke future changes to STB and HRQoL. Therefore, we sought to evaluate whether STB and HRQoL patient-reported outcomes (PROs) contribute to ACP and whether ACP relates to changes in STB and HRQoL at 24 months. Methods: HD-validated clinician- and patient-assessments (i.e., HRQoL PROs) were obtained at baseline enrollment, 12 and 24 months through our multi-center study (HDQLIFE™) throughout the United States among people with premanifest, early-stage, and late-stage manifest HD. We used linear mixed-effects models to determine the relationships between STB and HRQoL at baseline and HDQLIFE End of Life Planning at follow-up. Separate linear mixed-effects models were used to assess the relationship between HDQLIFE End of Life Planning at baseline, and HRQoL and STB at 12 and 24 months. False discovery rate adjustments were used to account for multiple comparisons. Results: At baseline enrollment, STB and HRQoL were not related to HDQLIFE End of Life Planning at 12 or 24 months. Similarly, at baseline, HDQLIFE End of Life Planning demonstrated no association with STB or HRQoL at 12 or 24 months. Interpretation: STB and HRQoL PROs do not significantly affect patient engagement with ACP. Most importantly, engaging in ACP does not cause untoward effects on HRQoL or STB for this rare neurodegenerative disease where the lifetime prevalence of STB approaches 30%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalPalliative Medicine Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023


  • Huntington disease
  • advance care planning
  • end-of-life planning
  • neuropalliative


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