Quality-of-life measures for cardiac surgery practice and research: A review and primer

Phillip Tully

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Declining mortality and major morbidity rates after cardiac surgery have led to increasing focus on patient quality of life (QOL). Beyond longevity, the impact of cardiac surgery on day-to-day functioning is incredibly salient to patients, their spouses, and families. As such, QOL measures are a welcome and sometimes necessary addition to clinical trials. However, how does one navigate the expansive market of QOL questionnaires, which QOL measures are applicable to cardiac surgery units, and how can they be used meaningfully in clinical practice? Because nearly two decades have passed since QOL measures were reviewed for relevance to cardiac surgery settings, an overview is provided of various generic (Short Form Health Survey [SF-36], Sickness Impact Profile, Nottingham Health Profile) and disease-specific QOL measures (Duke Activity Status Index, Seattle Angina Questionnaire, MN Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire; Heart-QOL) with examples from cardiac surgery studies. Recommendations are provided for the application of QOL measures to clinical trials and the impact on clinical decision-making is discussed. The paucity of methodologically sound QOL studies highlights the necessity for further rigorous empirical data to better inform treatment efficacy studies and clinical decision-making.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)8-15
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Extracorporeal Technology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Coronary artery bypass
    • Coronary artery disease
    • Evidence-based practice
    • Quality of life
    • Review


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