Measuring quality of life in cardiac spouses
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The purpose of this study was to develop an objective instrument to measure changes in quality of life of spouses of post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients, and to determine its responsiveness and validity. A 70-item list of potential areas of concern was compiled; the 25 most frequent and important concerns comprised the framework of the final questionnaire. The questions on the Quality of Life Questionnaire for Cardiac Spouses (QL-SP) were categorized into the Emotional Function Dimension (EFD), and the Physical and Social Function Dimension (PSFD). Subjects (n = 39) completed the QL-SP and a battery of established questionnaires at home, 1-2 weeks post-hospital discharge for the patient, and 8 weeks later. Scores on the QL-SP between visits were improved for both the EFD (t = 5.56, p less than 0.001), and the PSFD (t = 6.11, p less than 0.001). The agreement between predicted and observed relationships between the dimension changes and other index changes, as measured statistically by a kappa with Cicchetti weights, was significant (kappa w = 0.43, p = 0.0012). The QL-SP appears to be responsive and valid, and may be useful in evaluating clinical and research intervention strategies.
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