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The MS symptom and impact diary (MSSID): psychometric evaluation of a new instrument to measure the day to day impact of multiple sclerosis
  1. J G Beaumont
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor J G Beaumont
 Department of Clinical Psychology, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, West Hill, Putney, London SW15 3SW, UK;

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A welcome addition to the toolkit of those who work with multiple sclerosis

It is a truism that multiple sclerosis is not only the most common of the neurodegenerative diseases but also the most variable in presentation and course. This is not only true of the relapsing–remitting form of the disease, where it is particularly evident, but it also applies to the rate of progression within progressive forms of the disorder. These characteristics of the disease pose problems for the clinical management of multiple sclerosis as well as for research into the pathology, treatment, and management of the disorder.

The multiple sclerosis symptom and impact diary (MSSID), reported in this issue,1 makes a significant addition to the tools available to the researcher and the clinician. The diary is a method by which day to day fluctuations in symptomatology, and their impact on daily life, can be recorded and assessed from the perspective of the patient’s own experience. The MSSID has a carefully structured format which contributes to the strength of its psychometric properties, having two questions which address symptoms, five which assess impact, and one open ended question allowing any additional information to be reported. The two questions that inquire about symptoms require, first, a binary decision about the presence of 14 symptom areas “today”; and second a rating of the interference …

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