Objective: The objectives of this study are to (1) Address issues related to selecting a quality of life (QOL) measuring tool; and (2) Present data from a pilot test comparing 3 QOL tools (Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 [SF-36], the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure Questionnaire [LHFQ], and a visual analogue scale).
Design: Descriptive comparative.
Setting: A Southern university-affiliated tertiary medical center outpatient heart failure clinic.
Patients: Thirty adults, randomly selected from those treated in a multidisciplinary, nurse practitioner-managed heart failure clinic.
Results: Significant correlations were found among the global or broader measures of QOL (visual analog scale and LHFQ Total score) and the component scores (LHFQ Emotional, LHFQ Physical, SF-36 Mental [MCS], and SF-36 Physical [PCS]), with the only exception being that of the LHFQ Total and the SF-36 PCS. Mental and physical components of QOL were not related within the SF-36 or between the SF-36 PCS and the LHFQ Emotional score. However, the emotional and physical scores were highly and significantly related within the LHFQ and between the SF-36 MCS and the LHFQ Physical score.
Conclusions: The SF-36 was better able to differentiate physical and emotional aspects of QOL in this sample. The LHFQ subscales may be less useful in QOL assessment than the total score.