Quality-of-life assessment instruments used across ALS clinics

Ambereen K. Mehta, Max Sarmet, Samuel Maiser, Jenny A. Meyer, Sherry Kolodziejczak, Karla Washington, Zachary Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction/Aims: Instruments have been developed to assess quality of life (QoL) among people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is unclear whether these are utilized regularly in the clinical setting to guide individual patient care. In this study we aimed to understand the current use of instruments and existing barriers to assessing QoL in clinical ALS care. Methods: An anonymous survey developed by Northeast ALS (NEALS) Consortium Palliative Committee members was distributed to all multidisciplinary NEALS members. Data were summarized via calculation of descriptive statistics. ALS Center characteristics were compared using chi-square and Fisher exact tests for categorical variables. Results: Seventy-three (6.4%) of the 1132 NEALS members responded to the survey, representing 148 clinics, 49.3% of whom reported assessing QoL during clinic visits. The most used ALS-specific instruments were the ALS Assessment Questionnaire (19.4%) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Specific Quality of Life scale (16.6%). Barriers reported were uncertainty regarding which instrument to use and length of visits. QoL assessment was not significantly correlated with length of clinic visit but with access to specialty palliative care. Discussion: QoL assessments are performed by some, but not all, ALS centers during clinical visits. Although this study did have a low number of responding centers, the percentage, the proportion is similar to that seen in earlier studies, which limits the findings' generalizability. The value of QoL assessments' impact on outcomes should be further investigated and, if warranted, creative ways sought to increase the frequency of their use, including patient self-assessments before clinic and/or the use of teleheath to reduce the length of clinic visits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-872
Number of pages8
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • clinical care
  • outpatient
  • quality of life


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