Use of the living with heart failure questionnaire to ascertain patients' perspectives on improvement in quality of life versus risk of drug-induced death

Thomas S. Rector, Linda K. Tschumperlin, Spencer H. Kubo, Alan J. Bank, Gary S. Francis, Kenneth M. McDonald, Carol A. Keeler, Marc A. Silver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

187 Scopus citations

Abstract

Treatments for heart failure, such as flosequinan, may have opposite effects on survival and quality of life. The Living With Heart Failure questionnaire was used to examine patients' willingness to risk drug-induced death for improved quality of life. In addition, patients' opinions concerning worthwhile improvements in the Living With Heart Failure score were described to provide a perspective for interpreting the results of clinical trials. A sample of 101 patients with heart failure were interviewed in cardiology clinics. Median (interquartile range) Living With Heart Failure questionnaire scores were 54 (interquartile range, 34-74). Forty-nine percent of the patients would accept a1 in 100 risk of drug-induced death if the corresponding improvements in the Living With Heart Failure score were 20 (interquartile range, 10-25). In contrast, 40% were willing to accept a risk of drug-induced death equal to or greater than 5 in 100 for significantly (P < .001) smaller score improvements of 5 (interquartile range, 5-10). Living With Heart Failure scores that increase with perceived limitations secondary to heart failure tended to be higher, although not significantly (P = .22), in the subgroup that accepted greater risk of drug-induced death: 45 (interquartile range, 34-73) versus 58 (interquartile range, 42-77). A score improvement of 5, which has been commonly observed in clinical trials, would be sufficient reason for 72% of patients to take a medication that did not have side effects or significant costs. A 5-point improvement was less acceptable when costs or risks were associated with therapy: 52% would pay $60 per month and 38% would risk drug-induced death. These data suggest that many patients with heart failure would accept some risk of drug-induced death for improved quality of life. A 5-point improvement in the Living With Heart Failure score may be clinically significant depending on costs and adverse effects. The Living With Heart Failure questionnaire can be used to help patients evaluate the benefits versus risks of medical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of cardiac failure
Volume1
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

Keywords

  • heart failure
  • quality of life

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