Treatment burden and health-related quality of life of patients with multimorbidity: a cross-sectional study

Qual Life Res. 2023 Nov;32(11):3269-3277. doi: 10.1007/s11136-023-03473-3. Epub 2023 Jul 5.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate treatment burden and its relationship with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients with multimorbidity (two or more chronic diseases) who were taking prescription medications and attending the outpatient department of the University of Gondar Comprehensive Specialized Teaching Hospital.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between March 2019 and July 2019. Treatment burden was measured using the Multimorbidity Treatment Burden Questionnaire (MTBQ), while HRQoL was captured using the Euroqol-5-dimensions-5-Levels (EQ-5D-5L).

Results: A total of 423 patients participated in the study. The mean global MTBQ, EQ-5D index, and EQ-VAS scores were 39.35 (± 22.16), 0.83 (± 0.20), and 67.32 (± 18.51), respectively. Significant differences were observed in the mean EQ-5D-Index (F [2, 81.88] 33.1) and EQ-VAS (visual analogue scale) scores (F [2, 75.48] = 72.87) among the treatment burden groups. Follow up post-hoc analyses demonstrated significant mean differences in EQ-VAS scores across the treatment burden groups and in EQ-5D index between the no/low treatment burden and high treatment burden, as well as between the medium treatment burden and high treatment burden. In the multivariate linear regression model, every one SD increase in the global MTBQ score (i.e., 22.16) was associated with a decline of 0.08 in the EQ-5D index (β - 0.38, 95%CI - 0.48, - 0.28), as well as a reduction of 9.4 in the EQ-VAS score (β - 0.51, 95%CI -0.60, - 0.42).

Conclusion: Treatment burden was inversely associated with HRQoL. Health care providers should be conscious in balancing treatment exposure with patients' HRQoL.

Keywords: Cross-sectional studies; Multimorbidity; Patient-reported outcome measures; Polypharmacy; Quality of life; Treatment burden.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Multimorbidity*
  • Quality of Life* / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires