Objectives: To assess quality of life in patients with varying degrees of ischaemia in comparison with controls, and to determine whether the degree of lower limb ischaemia and sense of coherence were associated with quality of life.
Materials and methods: 168 patients, including 93 claudicants and 75 patients with critical ischaemia and 102 controls were studied. Quality of life was assessed using the Nottingham Health Profile in addition to the Sense of Coherence scale.
Main results: Patients with lower limb ischaemia scored significantly reduced quality of life in all aspects compared to controls. Pain, physical mobility and emotional reactions were the significant independent factors when using logistic regression analysis. The grade of disease and low sense of coherence were significantly associated with low quality of life. Increasing lower limb ischaemia significantly conferred worse pain, sleeping disturbances and immobility.
Conclusion: This study showed that the quality of life was impaired among patients with lower limb ischaemia, in all investigated respects. The degree to which quality of life was affected seems to represent an interplay between the grade of ischaemia and the patient's sense of coherence. This suggests the need for a multidimensional assessment prior to intervention.