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Quality of Life in Liver Cirrhosis

  • E. Kalaitzakis
Reference work entry

Abstract:

Liver cirrhosis is a chronic condition imposing a considerable burden on patients, families, health care, and society. Assessment of health-related quality of life (QOL) is particularly important for these patients in view of the paucity of therapies substantially improving their survival except for liver transplantation. To date several investigators employing numerous generic and disease-specific QOL measurement instruments have reported poor QOL in these patients irrespective of the etiology of liver disease. Apart from the severity and complications of liver cirrhosis several disease-specific symptoms (such as pruritus, muscle cramps, sleep disturbance, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, and gastrointestinal symptoms) have been shown to be of importance in determining QOL in this patient group. Liver transplantation has been repeatedly shown to improve QOL. However, some of the few studies evaluating the impact of other medical interventions on QOL in cirrhotics have demonstrated that various treatment modalities may improve survival or decrease complication risk but they do not invariably improve patients’ QOL which stresses the need for rigorous selection of patients suitable for a specific type of treatment. Last, the value cirrhotic patients place on the state of their health differs from that assigned by physicians. Thus, in cost-utility analysis, which is based on quality-adjusted life years, utilities should be based on patient reports.

Keywords

Liver Cirrhosis Chronic Liver Disease Hepatic Encephalopathy Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:

AUSQUAL

Austin quality of life scale

BDI

Beck depression inventory

BSI

brief symptom inventory

CC

compensated cirrhosis

CLDQ

chronic liver disease questionnaire

CLD-QOL

chronic liver disease quality of life questionnaire

DC

decompensated cirrhosis

GSRS

gastrointestinal symptom rating scale

HAD

hospital anxiety and depression index

LDQOL

liver disease quality of life instrument

LDSI

liver disease symptom index

LTX

liver transplantation

MELD

model for end-stage liver disease

MFI-20

multidimensional fatigue index – 20

NC

non-cirrhotic control patients

NHP

Nottingham health profile

PGWBI

psychological general well-being index

QOL

quality of life

SF-36

36-item short form health survey

SIP

sickness impact profile

TIPS

 transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Kalaitzakis
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal MedicineSahlgrenska University HospitalGothenburgSweden

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