Objective: To assess the impact of tuberculosis (TB) and its treatment on patients' health status.
Methods: Questionnaires were administered prospectively to patients at three clinics in London at diagnosis and 2 months into therapy. We assessed generic health-related quality of life (Short Form 36 [SF-36] and EQ-5D) and psychological burden (State-Trait Anxiety Short-Form, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, worry items).
Results: Of the 61 participants (response rate 94%), 89% were non-UK born, 67% had pulmonary TB and 38% were aged 30-45 years. At diagnosis, scores for all eight SF-36 dimensions were significantly worse than UK general population norm scores. At follow-up, scores had improved significantly (P < 0.01), except for physical functioning and general health perception, but remained below the UK norm, except for vitality and mental health. Respondents' mean anxiety and depression scores were high at diagnosis (48 and 22, respectively), and anxiety scores remained high at follow-up. Worries most frequently reported concerned patients' own health (92%) and that of their family (82%).
Conclusions: TB patients suffer from significantly diminished health-related quality of life at diagnosis. Although treatment significantly improved patients' health status within 2 months, scores for many domains remain below UK norm scores. This emphasises the importance of a holistic approach to care and should inform the evaluation of future interventions.