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Health-related quality of life in chronic disorders: a comparison across studies using the MOS SF-36

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By Schlenk EA, Erlen JA, Dunbar-Jacob J, McDowell J, Engberg S, Sereika SM, Rohay JM, Bernier MJ • www.ProHealth.com • January 15, 1998


The purpose of this report is to examine health-related
quality of life (HRQoL) as measured by the Medical Outcomes
Study Short Form-36, across patient populations with chronic
disorders and to compare quality of life (QoL) in these
subjects with normative data on healthy persons. Six studies,
within the Center for Research in Chronic Disorders at the
University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, in patients with
urinary incontinence, prostate cancer, chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease (COPD), acquired immune deficiency syndrome
(AIDS), fibromyalgia and hyperlipidaemia provided the data for
analysis. The results demonstrated that not only did the
prostate cancer and hyperlipidaemia patients have the highest
QoL across the chronic disorders, but their QoL was comparable
to normative data on healthy persons. Homebound, elderly,
incontinent patients had the lowest QoL for physical
functioning, whereas patients hospitalized with AIDS had the
lowest QoL in general health and social functioning. Patients
with COPD had the lowest QoL in role-physical, role-emotional
and mental health. Patients with fibromyalgia had the lowest
QoL in bodily pain and vitality. Compared to normative data,
patients with urinary incontinence, COPD, AIDS and
fibromyalgia generally had lower QoL. Prostate cancer and
hyperlipidaemia patients had QoL comparable to normative data.
Compared to normative data, patients with urinary
incontinence, COPD, AIDS and fibromyalgia had more variability
for role-emotional. AIDS patients had more variability on
physical functioning, bodily pain and social functioning
compared to the normative data. These data suggest that
patients with various chronic disorders may have QoL that is
lower in most domains compared to a healthy population.
However, there may be differences in the domains affected as
well as the extent of variation across specific chronic
disorders.




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