Quality of life assessment in heart failure interventions: a 10-year (1996-2005) review.
The increasing prevalence and poor prognosis associated with heart failure have prompted research to focus on improving quality of life (QoL) for heart failure patients. Research from 1996-2005 was systematically reviewed to identify randomized controlled trials that assessed QoL in heart failure. In 120 studies, 44 were medication trials; 19 surgical/procedural interventions; and 57 patient care/service delivery interventions. Studies were summarized in terms of aim, population, QoL measures used and QoL findings. Studies used 47 different measures of QoL-generic, health-related, condition-specific, domain-specific and utility measures. Most used a single QoL measure. In 87%, a condition specific QoL measure was used, with the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire being the favoured assessment tool. The range of QoL measures in use poses challenges for development of cumulative knowledge. Although comparability across studies is important, this must be informed by the responsiveness of the instrument selected. As carried out in other cardiac groups, comparative evaluations of instrument responsiveness are needed in heart failure.