Objectives: There are no data available that evaluate the possible modifications of the quality of life during the clinical course of chronic pancreatitis. To evaluate the outcome for patients with chronic pancreatitis in a 2-year follow-up study.
Methods: The Short Form 12 Health Survey Italian version questionnaire was used for the purpose of the study. The questionnaire generates 2 summary scores: the physical component summary (PCS-12) and the mental component summary (MCS-12). Eighty-three patients with chronic pancreatitis were studied with a mean (+/-SD) interval time of 2.3 +/- 0.2 years between the first and the second evaluation.
Results: There was a significant increase in the frequency of diabetes mellitus (P = 0.008), nonpancreatic surgery (P = 0.016), and comorbidities (P = 0.004). The PCS-12 (44.7 +/- 10.7) and MCS-12 (44.1 +/- 13.3) were not significantly different in comparison with the baseline evaluation (PCS-12, 43.7 +/- 9.8; MCS-12, 44.3 +/- 11.4). The PCS-12 score worsened in 17 (20.5%) patients, 44 (53.0%) had a stable PCS-12 score, and the remaining 22 (26.5%) improved their PCS-12 score. Regarding the mental score, 15 (18.1%) patients worsened, 52 (62.7%) had a stable MCS-12 score, and the remaining 16 (19.3%) improved their MCS-12 score. Only age at diagnosis was significantly related to the change of the MCS-12 score (P = 0.028, positive relationship).
Conclusions: The information given by quality-of-life assessment should be routinely included in the work-up of patients affected by chronic pancreatitis to select those patients with severely impaired physical and mental scores, and to plan an intensive program of medical and psychological follow-up.