Most studies on health related quality of life (HRQoL) of chronic liver patients were done in small clinical populations or restricted to one aetiology or disease stage. There is still a need for a study in a large liver patient population with various aetiologies and disease stages, approaching a population-based study. We evaluated the impact of liver disease aetiology on generic HRQoL, disease-specific HRQoL and fatigue and we compared HRQoL and fatigue between aetiological groups and healthy Dutch controls. Members of the Dutch liver patient association completed the Liver Disease Symptom Index, Short Form-36, and Multidimensional Fatigue Index-20. We compared the HRQoL between patients with viral hepatitis, autoimmune hepatitis, cholestatic diseases, hemochromatosis and other liver diseases by linear, ordinal and logistic regression, corrected for disease stage and other significant factors. Viral hepatitis patients showed a worse mental health than other aetiological groups. Hemochromatosis patients demonstrated 17% more bodily pain than viral hepatitis patients and the strongest decrease in role emotional health with increasing age. Aetiological groups showed a worse generic HRQoL and more fatigue than controls. In conclusion, viral hepatitis and hemochromatosis patients have a more impaired HRQoL than patients of other liver disease aetiological groups.

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Quality of Life Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van der Plas, S., Hansen, B., de Boer, J., Stijnen, T., Passchier, J., de Man, R., & Schalm, S. (2007). Generic and disease-specific health related quality of life of liver patients with various aetiologies: A survey. Quality of Life Research, 16(3), 375–388. doi:10.1007/s11136-006-9131-y