Quality of life in patients with chronic diseases.

OBJECTIVES: A quality of life assessment is of great importance for patients with chronic diseases, because problems caused by specific diseases impact specific areas of their lives. The goal of this work was to determine, in which areas select diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ischemic disease of the lower extremities and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) affect patients' quality of life.

METHODS: The Czech version of the WHOQOL-100 instrument and specific standardized questionnaires for individual diseases: EuroQol, EQ-5D-5L, IBDQ, PAQ were used to assess quality of life. This paper presents the results of the WHOQOL-100 questionnaire. In total, 5 research samples were put together. The first sample consisted of 200 respondents with rheumatoid arthritis (RA); the second sample included 100 respondents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); the third sample was comprised of 404 respondents with ischemic disease of the lower extremities (IDLE); the fourth sample consisted of 449 respondents with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); and the fifth sample was represented by 1,456 healthy respondents. The acquired data were then statistically analyzed. A statistical data analysis was performed in two steps. In the first step descriptive statistical analyses were performed in the SASD program (absolute and relative frequencies of respondents' answers, median values and variability characteristics). In the second step differences in means of the subjectively-perceived quality of life in patients with individual diseases and in control group were tested using the Mann-Whitney U test and the non-parametric Wilcoxon pair test. These analyses were computed in the SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) program.

RESULTS: The results show that a statistically significant difference in average domain score values was found between the healthy population and patients diagnosed with RA in the domains of "physical health", "level of independence", "environment", and "spirituality/religion/personal beliefs". A statistically significant difference was found in all domains for patients with IDLE and COPD. A statistically significant difference was found in four domains for patients with IBD, namely those of "physical health", "level of independence", "social relationships" and "spirituality/religion/personal beliefs".

CONCLUSION: All therapeutic and nursing interventions that can contribute to improving QoL in poorly performing domains should be utilized.

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