To examine the effect botulinum toxin, a potent neurotoxin that causes temporary paralysis of hyperkinetic musculature, has on the quality of life (QOL) in the patient with facial paralysis. We surveyed patients with facial paralysis, using the previously validated Facial Clinimetric Evaluation QOL instrument, before and then again after therapeutic administration of botulinum toxin for the management of their facial hyperkinesis, and performed pair-wise comparisons to determine the effect on patient QOL.
Prospective clinical study at an outpatient facial nerve center.
The overall Facial Clinimetric Evaluation score improved from a mean (SD) of 51.7 (20.9) in the pretreatment group to 63.7 (17.8) in the posttreatment group (P < .05). Statistically significant improvements were noted in all subdomain scores, including Facial Movement, Facial Comfort, Oral Function, Eye Comfort, Lacrimal Control, and Social Function (P < .05 for all comparisons).
Botulinum toxin has a well-established objective benefit in the control of facial hyperkinesis in patients with facial nerve disorders. This study establishes the associated QOL benefit and reaffirms its important role in the multimodality management of patients with facial nerve disorders.