Health-related quality of life and posttraumatic stress disorder among survivors of an outbreak of Legionnaires disease

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Jul 1;35(1):11-7. doi: 10.1086/340738. Epub 2002 Jun 7.


A follow-up study of 122 survivors of an outbreak of legionnaires disease (LD) in The Netherlands was conducted to determine persistence of symptoms, health-related quality of life (HRQL), and presence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Seventeen months after diagnosis of LD, survivors completed a questionnaire assessing symptoms and HRQL and a questionnaire assessing PTSD. The most prevalent new symptoms were fatigue (in 75% of patients), neurologic symptoms (in 66%), and neuromuscular symptoms (in 63%). HRQL was impaired in 7 of the 8 dimensions assessed by the HRQL questionnaire, and 15% of patients experienced PTSD. Symptoms and impaired HRQL persisted for >1.5 years. As a result of the design of this study, it could not be inferred whether Legionella pneumophila infection, severe pneumonia in general, or the outbreak situation was responsible for impaired well-being. However, awareness of this problem by health care providers may improve the aftercare of patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Legionnaires' Disease / epidemiology*
  • Legionnaires' Disease / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Quality of Life*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*