Health outcomes of patients undergoing cardiac surgery: Repeated measures using Short Form-36 and 15 Dimensions of Quality of Life questionnaire

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Journal Article
Heart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 2006, 35 (4), pp. 245 - 251
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Objective: The study assessed health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients before and after cardiac surgery. Design: This was a prospective repeated-measures observational study. Setting: The study took place in a 650-bed tertiary referral hospital in Sydney, Australia. Methods: HRQOL was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36-item health survey (SF-36) and the 15 Dimensions of Quality of Life questionnaire before surgery, at hospital discharge, and 6 months postdischarge. Results: Participants were representative of the cardiac surgery population. Scores for several concepts deteriorated at hospital discharge when compared with presurgery. There were significant improvements in health status at 6 months postdischarge when compared with previous measures for the majority of SF-36 and 15 Dimensions of Quality of Life questionnaire concepts, although mental health and social functioning demonstrated significant deterioration. SF-36 scores were substantially lower than population norms, but similar to previous studies of patients undergoing cardiac surgery except for mental health. Conclusion: Deterioration in health status at hospital discharge when compared with presurgery status reinforces the need for further patient care and support after discharge. All dimensions improved after 6 months, except mental health. This information can guide patient expectations regarding rehabilitation posthospitalization, and cardiac surgical services should implement and evaluate formal "outreach programs" for these patients. © 2005 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
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