Vol 46, No 2 (2012)

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Factors affecting the quality of life in hemifacial spasm patients

Monika Rudzińska1, Magdalena Wójcik1, Michalina Malec1, Natalia Grabska1, Michał Szubiga1, Marcin Hartel2, Andrzej Szczudlik1
DOI: 10.5114/ninp.2012.28254
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2012;46(2):121-129.


Background and purpose

Hemifacial spasm (HFS), a movement disorder manifested by unilateral spasms of the muscles innervated by the facial nerve, interferes with social life in about 90% of patients, causing social isolation and depression and having a significant impact on the quality of life. The aim of the study was to assess factors affecting the quality of life in patients with HFS in respect of influence of the severity of depression symptoms and botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) therapy.

Material and methods

Eighty-five out of 129 patients included in the HFS database of the Movement Disorders Out-patient Clinic, Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Cracow who fulfilled the inclusion criteria and had no exclusion criteria (suffering from concomitant movement disorders, other severe chronic diseases or cognitive impairment) were studied. Demographic and clinical data (age at onset, disease duration and accompanying symptoms) were collected. Severity of HFS was assessed by the five-point clinical scale and seven-point Clinical Global Impression scale. Quality of life was assessed with the HFS-36 questionnaire and severity of depressive symptoms was evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory. HFS-36 was performed twice, before BTX-A injection and two weeks later.


The mean global score of HFS-36 was 47 ± 31 (maximum: 140 pts). Decreased HFS-36 score resulted from divergent deterioration in all subscales included in the questionnaire. Independent risk factors of deterioration in HFS-36 were increased severity of HFS and depressive symptoms as well as accompanying trismus. The HFS-36 score depended on the number and type of accompanying symptoms as well. Botulinum toxin type A therapy led to a significant improvement of HFS-36, particularly high in patients with multiple (> 4) HFS-related symptoms.


The HFS-36 score depends mostly on severity of HFS, depressive symptoms and occurrence of accompanying trismus. It improves after BTX-A treatment.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska