Background: Cardiovascular risk management plays an important role in primary care. In patients at high risk for cardiovascular diseases (CVD) lifestyle and, where appropriate, medical interventions are recommended in guidelines. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important outcome in clinical practice. This study aimed to assess the HRQoL of this patient group and to investigate the impact of both patients' characteristics and practice quality scores on their assessments of HRQoL.
Methods and findings: An observational study in 218 general practices from 8 European countries was conducted. 2142 patients at risk for CVD (33.5% female) with a mean age of 66.3 (SD 9.1) years completed a questionnaire including the EQ-5D instrument and provided data from medical record. Validated quality indicators of general practices were assessed using practice questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. A hierarchical multilevel analysis was performed to identify predictors of EQ-5D scores at patient and practice level. The mean EQ-5D score was 0.78 (SD 0.19). Female gender (r=-0.03, p<0.0016), age (r=-0.01, p=0.0387) and lower educational level (r=-0.03, p<0.0001) were correlated negatively with EQ-5D scores. Clinically more important was the correlation of HRQoL with the frequency of practice contacts (r=-0.12, p<0.0001) and the number of uncontrolled risk factors (r= -0.01, p<0.0039). Medication adherence (r=0.032, p<0.0001), and physical activity (r=0.02, p<0.0001) were identified as positive predictors of HRQoL. The EUPROPEP-score category 'organization' (r=0.02, p<0.0001) was positively related to EQ-5D scores, whereas other practice scores were not correlated to EQ-5D-scores.
Conclusions: In patients at risk for CVD, good medication adherence, regular physical activity, controlling of biomedical risk factor levels and patient-centered practice organization have been shown to be positively correlated to HRQoL and should therefore be targeted in interventions not only to reduce morbidity but also to sustain or even to ameliorate HRQoL.
© 2011 Ludt et al.