The NFTI-QOL is a robustly constructed disease-specific QOL questionnaire for neurofibromatosis type 2. It correlates strongly and significantly with EuroQOL and all SF-36 domains (p < 0.01). It is straightforward and quick (≤3 minutes) for patients to complete and easy to score. It is suitable as a quantitative method of assessing QOL in NF2 both in a clinical setting and as an outcome measure for treatment. The NFTI-QOL has been validated for adults (>16 years) in the United Kingdom, and could be adapted for use in other countries 1).
The aim of the study of Lawson McLean et al was to produce and validate a German version of the NFTI-QOL (NFTI-QOL-D) and to correlate QOL scores with a depression score (PHQ-9) and clinical disease severity.
The original English-language NFTI-QOL was translated into German and then back-translated in order to preserve the questionnaire’s original concepts and intentions. A link to an online survey encompassing the NFTI-QOL-D and the PHQ-9 depression questionnaire was then sent to 97 patients with NF2 by email. The respondents’ scores were compared to clinician-reported disease severity scores.
77 patients completed the online survey in full. Internal consistency among NFTI-QOL-D responses was strong (Cronbach’s alpha: 0.74). Both PHQ-9 and clinician disease severity scores correlated with NFTI-QOL-D scores (Pearson correlation coefficient rho 0.63 and 0.62, respectively).
The NFTI-QOL-D is a reliable and useful tool to assess patient-reported QOL in German-speaking patients with neurofibromatosis type 2. The correlation of QOL with both psychological and physical disease parameters underlines the importance of individualized interdisciplinary patient care for NF2 patients, with attention paid to mental well-being as well as to somatic disease manifestations 2).
Data were evaluated for 288 NF2 patients (n = 464 visits) attending the English national NF2 clinics from 2010 to 2012. The male-to-female ratio was equal and the mean age was 42.2 (SD 17.8) years. The analysis included NFTI-QOL eight-item score, ClinSev graded as mild, moderate, or severe, and GenSev as a rank order of the number of NF2 mutations (graded as mild, moderate, severe). The mean (SD) 8.7 (5.4) score for NFTI-QOL for either a first visit or all visits 9.2 (5.4) was similar to the published norm of 9.4 (5.5), with no significant relationships with age or gender. NFTI-QOL internal reliability was good, with a Cronbach’s alpha score of 0.85 and test re-test reliability r = 0.84. NFTI related to ClinSev (r = 0.41, p < 0.001; r = 0.46 for all visits), but weakly to GenSev (r = 0.16, p < 0.05; r = 0.15 for all visits). ClinSev related to GenSev (r = 0.41, p < 0.001; r = 0.42 for all visits). NFTI-QOL showed good reliability and ability to detect significant longitudinal changes in the QOL of individuals. The moderate relationships of NFTI-QOL with a clinician- and genetic-rated severity suggest that NFTI-QOL taps into NF2 patient experiences that are not encompassed by ClinSev rating or genotype 3)