Impact of managed waiting for coronary artery bypass graft surgery on patients' perceived quality of life.
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BACKGROUND: Current demand for CABG surgery remains high, often exceeds available resources, and has led to the development of managed waiting lists. This study was designed to determine how being placed on a managed waiting list for > 6 weeks for CABG surgery affected patients' perceived quality of life in a Canadian center. METHODS AND RESULTS: Telephone interviews were carried out in the setting of a large urban hospital in northern Alberta. All participants were identified from 3 waiting lists of adult patients waiting for open heart surgery. A master list of patient statements was compiled to formulate the 47-item Waiting List Impact Questionnaire (WLIQ). A total of 102 patients completed the WLIQ by telephone interview. Patients (87.5%) indicated that their quality of life had deteriorated since being placed on the waiting list. None of the patients perceived an improvement in their quality of life. Frequency data for the WLIQ provided a broad, multidimensional perspective of the experience of waiting for CABG surgery and its impact on perceived quality of life. Negative impact was found in each of 5 main themes: employment and income, physical stress, social support, frustration, and quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that patients perceived a negative impact on their quality of life after being placed on a managed waiting list for CABG surgery. In the allocation of healthcare resources, attention should be paid to the impact of waiting on patients' physical well-being as well as on quality of life.
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