Proxy respondents reliably assessed the quality of life of elective cardiac surgery patients

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Journal Article
Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 2006, 59 (2), pp. 153 - 159
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Background and Objective: The level of agreement between index and proxy respondents on assessment of health status of clinical cohorts is variable. There is limited information regarding agreement between cardiac surgery patients and their proxies, and levels of agreement examined across repeated measures. This study examined the level of agreement between index and proxy respondents' perceptions of the patient's health status prior to and following cardiac surgery. Methods: A prospective, paired-respondent, repeated measures observational study of elective cardiac surgical patients and their next of kin, from the cardiac surgical unit of a tertiary hospital in Sydney, Australia. Health status domains were examined using the15D and SF-36 instruments at three points: prior to surgery, at hospital discharge, and at 6 months post discharge. Results: Moderate to good level of agreement was noted for physical function (physical functioning, role functioning-physical, mobility, breathing, speech, hearing, usual activities, sexual activities) and some psychosocial dimensions (role functioning-emotional, sleeping, depression, mental health). Agreement was highest for presurgery and 6 months post discharge. Differences in scores were not clinically important. Conclusion: Proxy respondents can reliably assess the quality of life of a cardiac surgical patient using 15D or SF-36, particularly for domains reflecting physical function. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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