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HeartQoL Study Update

"Patients with myocardial infarction, with angina and with heart failure are all referred to our cardiac rehabilitation programme. I want to compare their health-related quality of life [HRQL] before and after the programme. What measure should I use?”

This question is consistent with major goals of the European Society of Cardiology which include improving HRQL in patients with cardiovascular disease and those at risk.

The answer to the question is use a specific HRQL questionnaire as these measures are designed

  • To be more relevant to the patient 
  • To measure HRQL changes as a result of the programme [or other intervention].

"However, we have a problem. At this time, there is no core validated coronary heart disease specific HRQL questionnaire to compare outcome in patients with these three diagnoses."

The European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation “HeartQoL” study project aims to develop a single reliable and valid core coronary heart disease specific HRQL questionnaire. This will allow comparison of outcomes with the same, or different, treatments among pure or mixed populations of patients with myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, and/or heart failure.

We are collecting data with the objective of recruiting at least 5,250 patients [1,750 with each diagnosis] speaking 16 European languages in 23 countries world-wide. The HeartQoL study is using three existing reliable and valid heart disease specific HRQL questionnaires, each designed for use in one of the three primary CHD diagnoses, as the basis from which to develop a single heart disease core HRQL instrument across CHD diagnoses.

As of August 2006, we have entered data for more than 3,500 patients and with 100% data entry completed in 15 sites. We expect to complete data collection by the end of 2006 at the sites that have been involved with the study since 2004 with sites that joined later having until mid-2007 to complete patient recruitment.

The overall aim of the HeartQoL study is improve understanding of HRQL, and thereby improve interventions, in patients with documented CHD.