Health Related Quality of Life in Coronary Patients.
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DepartmentBioquímica y Biología Molecular, Microbiología, Medicina Preventiva, Salud Pública
SourceDueñas M, Ojeda B, Salazar A, Failde I. Health Related Quality of Life in Coronary Patients. En: Recent Advances in Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech; 2012. p. 399-414.
The increase observed in the survival of patients with ischemic cardiopathy, together with the effect of the disease on the social, professional, and family life of those suffering from it, have led researchers to consider that the traditional ways of measuring morbidity and mortality are not adequate for assessing the potential benefits of health care interventions. For this reason, there is common agreement on the need to use an indicator of subjective assessment of health, and of health related quality of life (HRQL), as a complementary criterion for monitoring the results of medical interventions in these patients. The term "quality of life" (QoL) or health related quality of life (HRQL) came into use during the 1970s as a multidimensional concept reflecting the overall subjective condition of the physical and mental welfare of the individual, which is a consequence not only of the disease but also of the family and social conditions forming the patient’s environment. The assessment of these patients’ HRQL has been tackled by several authors using both disease-specific and generic instruments such as the Nottingham Health Profile, the Sickness Impact Profile, the SF-36 or the SF-12 health questionnaire. Both types of instrument have advantages and disadvantages, and they may provide additional information since they quantify the patient’s overall health. Using different multidimensional measures, poorer HRQL has been observed in patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI) and angina pectoris than in other populations, and these differences have been related to low social class, female sex, the presence of mental disorders and the severity of the clinical condition. Measuring changes in the HRQL of coronary patients is also important as a way of assessing interventions and predicting needs for social care, because it has been shown that the focus of attention in the immediate period following a cardiac attack is generally the physical functioning, but following discharge from hospital and in the longer term, general health, vitality, social and emotional functions could be at least as important. In this chapter, we aim to provide an overview of the concept of HRQL and the usefulness of this measure from the perspective of a coronary patient. Likewise, we intend to review the main instruments used to assess HRQL and we analyse the factors that have been seen to affect the quality of life of these patients.