• Journal Article

Interpreting scores on multiple sclerosis-specific patient reported outcome measures (the PRIMUS and U-FIS)


Twiss, J., Doward, L., McKenna, S. P., & Eckert, B. (2010). Interpreting scores on multiple sclerosis-specific patient reported outcome measures (the PRIMUS and U-FIS). Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 8, 117. DOI: 10.1186/1477-7525-8-117


Background - The PRIMUS is a Multiple Sclerosis (MS)-specific suite of outcome measures including assessments of QoL (PRIMUS QoL, scored 0-22) and activity limitations (PRIMUS Activities, scored 0-30). The U-FIS is a measure of fatigue impact (scored 0-66). These measures have been fully validated previously using an MS sample with mixed diagnoses. The aim of the present study was to validate the measures further in a specifically Relapse Remitting MS (RRMS) sample and to provide preliminary evidence of the responder definitions (RD; also known as minimal important difference) for these instruments. Methods - Data were derived from a multi-country efficacy trial of MS patients with assessments at baseline and 12 months. Baseline data were used to assess the internal reliability and validity of the measures. Both anchor-based and distribution-based approaches were employed for estimating RD. Anchor-based estimates were based on published RD values for the EQ-5D and were assessed for those improving and deteriorating separately. Distribution-based estimates were based on standard error of measurement (SEM), change score equivalent to 0.30, and change score equivalent to 0.50, effect sizes (ES). Results - The sample included 911 RRMS patients (67.3% female, age mean (SD) 36.2 (8.4) years, duration of MS mean (SD) 4.8 (5.2) years). Results showed that the PRIMUS and U-FIS had good internal consistency. Appropriate correlations were observed with comparator instruments and both measures were able to distinguish between participants based on Expanded Disability Status Scale scores and time since diagnosis. The anchor-based and distribution-based RD estimates were: PRIMUS Activities range = 1.2-2.3, PRIMUS QoL range = 1.0-2.2, and U-FIS range = 2.4-7.0. Conclusions - The results show that the PRIMUS and U-FIS are valid instruments for use with RRMS patients. The analyses provide preliminary information on how to interpret scores on the scales. These data will be useful for assessing treatment efficacy and for powering clinical studies.