Background: Studies on the health-related quality of life in lung transplantation have used general questionnaires, although lung-specific instruments might be more sensitive to small differences.
Objectives: To compare the health-related quality of life of lung transplant recipients with lung transplant candidates, using lung-specific and general instruments, and to assess the reliability and validity of these questionnaires.
Methods: The study is a cross-sectional postal survey of 31 lung transplant recipients and 15 candidates, using the following outcome measures: St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), a lung-specific health status instrument; the Short Form 36 (SF-36), a general measure, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD).
Results: The SGRQ showed a significantly better score (p < 0.05) for transplant recipients in the impacts and activity dimensions and the total score than for candidates. SF-36 scores showed a similar improvement in all subscales of the SF-36 except bodily pain. Cronbach's alpha for all dimensions of the SGRQ, SF-36, and HAD were 0.77-0.95.
Conclusions: Patients surviving lung transplantations can expect a considerable improvement in most dimensions of health-related quality of life. This finding was consistent using both lung-specific and general measures. The reliability of the questionnaires was acceptable. The associations between scales support the validity of the questionnaires in this setting.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel.