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Getting closer to patients: the INCAT Overall Disability Sum Score relates better to patients’ own clinical judgement in immune-mediated polyneuropathies
  1. I S J Merkies1,
  2. P I M Schmitz2
  1. 1Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Statistics, Daniel den Hoed Cancer Centre, Erasmus Medical Centre Rotterdam
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr I S J Merkies
 Department of Neurology, Spaarne Hospital, Spaarnepoort 1, Hoofddorp 2134 TM, The Netherlands; imerkies{at}


Objective: To determine which widely used disability measure in Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) shows the strongest association with patients’ rating scores.

Methods: Five disability scales and the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) were assessed serially in 20 patients with newly diagnosed GBS (n = 7) or CIDP (n = 13). Also at each visit, the patient’s condition was self-assessed as being worse, unchanged or better. Longitudinal regressions were carried out to determine the association between disability scales (independent variables) and SF-36 and patients’ rating scores (dependent variables).

Results: Higher associations with the SF-36 were found in the Overall Disability Sum Score (ODSS) than other disability measures. A higher correlation with ODSS changes was also found in the rating scores of the patients.

Conclusion: In addition to literature findings, higher associations were found between Inflammatory Neuropathy Cause and Treatment Group ODSS and outcome assessed from patients’ perceptions in immune-related polyneuropathies than in other commonly used disability scales.

  • CIDP, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
  • GBS, Guillain–Barré syndrome
  • INCAT, Inflammatory Neuropathy Cause and Treatment
  • ODSS, Overall Disability Sum Score
  • SF-36, 36-Item Short Form Health Survey

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  • See Editorial Commentary, p 899

  • Competing interests: None declared.

  • Published Online First 20 March 2006

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