Quality of life assessment with the medical outcomes study short form-36 among patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy.


A cohort of 88 Veterans Administration neurosurgery clinic patients with CSM underwent structured interviews for collection of data on demographic features, symptoms, operations, and comorbid diseases. Patients also completed the SF-36. Symptoms and examination findings were used to assign each patient scores on the Nurick, Cooper, and Harsh myelopathy scales and a Western modification of the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scale. SF-36 scores were compared with age-adjusted Veterans Administration population normative values by using Student's t test with unequal variances. Cuzick's nonparametric test for trend was used to explore the relationship between the SF-36 physical component summary scores and the myelopathy scale scores.

Patients with CSM exhibit decreased quality of life in all health domains assessed with the SF-36, a generic health outcome-measurement instrument. The impairments of patients with CSM extend beyond the motor, sensory, and bladder dysfunctions recorded with myelopathy scales, into the realms of emotional and mental health.

Patients with CSM exhibited decreased quality of life in all eight SF-36 domains, as well as with the physical and mental component summary scores, compared with Veterans Administration population normative values (for all, P </= 0.003). Lower physical component summary scores were associated with worse myelopathy scores on the Nurick scale (P < 0.001), Cooper leg subscale (P = 0.012), and Harsh scale (P < 0.001).

Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is a chronic degenerative condition of the cervical spine that produces narrowing of the spinal canal and disruption of spinal cord function. We used Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 (SF-36), a generic quality of life outcome-assessment instrument, to assess the quality of life among patients with CSM.

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