Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) values shortly after pacemaker (PM) implantation for bradycardia have been established, however little is known about long-term HRQoL.
Methods: Using the generic SF-36 and the PM specific Aquarel questionnaire, HRQoL was repeatedly measured during a 7.5 year follow-up period in 881 bradycardia PM recipients included in the large scale nationwide Dutch FOLLOWPACE study. HRQoL over time, corrected for age, gender, diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, cardiovascular disease and AV-synchrony, was assessed with a linear mixed model.
Results: Increased scores both on overall SF-36 and on all SF-36 subscales were observed shortly after implantation. Although scores on SF-36 gradually declined over time, scores remained improved over the measured pre-implantation values. Also, scores for almost all subscales remained increased throughout the 7.5 year observation period, except for physical functioning which showed a gradual decline several years after the initial rise. Additionally, higher scores on all Aquarel scales were observed after implantation. Scores on the arrhythmias and chest discomfort subscales improved and remained stable throughout follow-up (FU), whereas the dyspnea at exertion subscale showed a gradual decline during FU to reach pre-implantation values at 5 years.
Conclusions: Increased HRQoL is observed not only shortly after PM implantation, but also after long-term FU.
Clinical trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00135174; http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00135174.
Keywords: Follow-up; GH; Health-related quality of life; MCS; MH; Mental Component Scale; PCS; PF; PM; Pacemaker; Physical Component Scale; RE; RP; SF; VT; general health perceptions; general mental health; pacemaker; physical functioning; role limitations due to emotional problems; role limitations due to physical health problems; social functioning; vitality.
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