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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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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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