Purpose: The MacNew health-related quality of life questionnaire is internationally used as a standard for psychosocial assessment in many cardiac rehabilitation centres. This study investigates its discriminating capacity between diagnostic disease categories, sex and age at entry (T1) and at the end (T2) of cardiac rehabilitation as well as the responsiveness of the MacNew during this period.
Method: Data were used from 6,749 cardiac rehabilitation patients at T1 and 1,654 at T2.
Results: Results show that the global MacNew as well as the three (physical, emotional, social) subscales have high internal consistencies, and differentiate well and in the expected direction at T1 between diagnostic groups (heart surgery, myocardial infarction with and without percutaneous coronary intervention, stable angina with and without percutaneous coronary intervention, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, and heart failure patients), sex and age. The MacNew also proves to be an adequate evaluation instrument for cardiac rehabilitation, as all scales are responsive enough to capture changes from T1 to T2. At T2, however, the MacNew seems to lose some of its discriminating power, partly because of ceiling effects.
Conclusion: It is suggested to complement the use of the MacNew both at T1 and T2 with a brief anxiety and depression measure, which is valid and responsive for different groups of cardiac rehabilitation patients.