Long-term impact of a Q-fever outbreak: An evaluation of health symptoms, health-related quality of life, participation and health care satisfaction after ten years
Journal of Psychosomatic Research , Volume 139
Objective: To assess health symptoms, health-related quality of life, participation, and health care satisfaction in Q-fever patients up to 10 years after infection. Methods: Cross-sectional questionnaire survey in the Netherlands. Data on health symptoms, fatigue (CIS), health-related quality of life (EQ-5D), social/work participation, health care providers and health care satisfaction were collected in patients with chronic Q-fever (CQ), Q-fever fatigue syndrome (QFS), and patients who experience QFS-like disease without a post-infection diagnosis (QLD). Results: A vast majority of the 478 Q-fever patients (response rate 54.3%) face several health problems 10 years after infection. Fatigue was the most prevalent symptom in all groups (91.2%). The median EQ-5D index value differed significantly between the three diagnostic groups (CQ: 0.67; QFS: 0.55; QLD:0.70; p < 0.001). Approximately 50% of all patients had serious problems with work and physical activities, and more than 25% experienced difficulties with leisure time, household and social contacts. Also, more than one third stopped working permanently. Furthermore, GP's, internists, and physical therapists were the most often consulted health care providers. Patients gave low ratings for the overall quality of care for Q-fever, with 75% scoring a 5.0 or lower on a 10-point scale. Conclusion: Long-term health consequences are considerable for Q-fever patients, especially for those with QFS. The majority of the patients was unsatisfied with the quality of care for Q-fever. Awareness of the long-term impact of zoonotic diseases like Q-fever is needed to offer optimal health care for these patients.