Background: Measures assessing quality of life (QOL) in patients participating in comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation (CCR) have not been established in Japan.
Methods and results: To compare different types of QOL scales and to determine the impact of CCR on QOL in Japanese cardiac patients, 5 different types of questionnaires were assessed in 44 patients participating in CCR after acute myocardial infarction (AMI). After 3-month CCR, peak oxygen uptake (PVO2, p<0.01), Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) total score (p<0.05) and physical function-related QOL scores (Specific Activity Scale (SAS), p<0.01; SIP physical score, p<0.01) significantly improved, whereas psychosocial/mental aspect-related QOL scores (Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW)-QOL score, SIP psychosocial score, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, Self-rating Depression Scale) did not change on the average. However, patients with low PVO2 (<21.7 ml.min-1.kg-1) showed significant improvements in all scores after CCR, whereas patients with preserved exercise capacity showed improvements only in physical function-related scores (SAS and physical SIP). Furthermore, patients with anxiety and depression showed significant improvements in these respective measures after CCR.
Conclusion: In patients with AMI, physical function-related QOL scores improve after a 3-month CCR program, but psychosocial/mental aspect-related QOL scores improve only in those with impaired exercise tolerance or anxiety/depression. Thus, changes in QOL after CCR depend on type of QOL scale used and the baseline status of the patient. In addition, in Japanese cardiac patients MHW-QOL mainly reflects psychosocial/mental aspect-related QOL, as well as overall QOL.