Health-related quality of life measurement in chronic liver disease patients.
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an important health indicator in medical outcome research and clinical practice. This issue tends to attract even more attention with the recent improvements of patient survival after liver transplantation. This review article aims at providing a deeper insight into practices used for evaluating HRQOL in chronic liver diseases (CLDs) and especially cirrhosis patients during different stages of the disease including liver transplantation.
A systematic review of the MEDLINE database and Cochrane library was conducted. A search using the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) major terms “liver disease” AND “quality of life” was applied for the period from 1966 to 2012.
Our review identified 1483 publications. The searched showed that significant increase of publications (from 362 to 1018) was observed during last decade (period 2003-2012) in comparison with previous. The majority of publications were in English (n=1179). The literature search and analysis provided information on the most common generic and disease-specific HRQOL instruments, which are used in CLD patients: Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Quality of Life questionnaire, the Chronic Liver Disease questionnaire, the Liver Disease Quality of Life questionnaire, and other.
Quality of life instruments are potentially powerful tools for evaluating the functional status, presenting gains of treatment and reflecting patients’ ability to return to a normal lifestyle in CLD patients. More attention should be paid by clinicians for integrated use of clinical tests together with HRQOL instruments in liver transplantation for establishing the reference levels of mental, physical, and role-social functioning.
Correspondence to L. Šumskas Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, A. Mickevičiaus 9, 44307 Kaunas, Lithuania. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 24 April 2014, accepted 13 June 2015, available online 1 August 2015.