Background: Home nutritional support (HNS) aims to improve or maintain the patient's quality of life. Given the high social cost of such treatment, however, it is important to investigate whether the perceived quality of life of patients receiving HNS does in fact reflect these objectives. The present study aimed to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients who receive HNS.
Methods: A multicentre, cross-sectional study of 267 patients was carried out. HRQoL was evaluated using the EuroQoL-5-Dimensions (EQ-5D) questionnaire. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used to complement the EQ-5D, aiming to provide an overall estimation of patient quality of life.
Results: The EQ-5D questionnaire showed that 25% of the subjects valued their HRQoL at between -0.08 and 0.15, 50% at between 0.16 and 0.69 and 25% at between 0.70 and 1. Results from the VAS showed that 75% of patients claimed to have a HRQoL > 40. The median for the VAS was 50. Pathologies were oncological (44.0%), neurological (36.6%) and others (19.3%). The results obtained demonstrate that neurological patients placed a lower value on their HRQoL compared to those of other groups (P < 0.001). In addition, women rated their quality of life lower than men in all pathologies (P = 0.006).
Conclusions: Perceived HRQoL varied depending on pathology and sex. It was difficult to draw conclusions concerning the impact of HNS because of a lack of baseline data and relevant validated measurement tools. The present study highlights the need for more research into the relationship between HNS and HRQoL.