Specific health care instruments to
measure quality of life in patients with heart failure.

The domains or components of quality of life that are measured in health care tools with patients with heart failure often include physical functioning, occupational functioning or ability to perform multiple tasks, beliefs about health status, normal or abnormal psychological functioning and social functioning.

In general, they ask questions related to Maslow’s lower two to three levels of needs – physiological, safety with less questions related to love and belonging. Questions about positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, accomplishment, personal growth or even depression or optimism are not used. Positive health assets are not assessed yet.

According to Slade (2010) measuring recovery and quality of life is being expanded to include hope, and a meaningful and fulfilling life, not just functional measurement.

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Individuals who have an optimistic approach to life have a higher quality of life in physical, psychological and social domains

Some specific instruments to measure quality of life in heart failure patients include: the Medical Outcomes Trust Short Form 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36) health survey questionnaire; The Health Related Quality of Life questionnaire (HRQOL); and the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire to list the most popular ones. More are being used and developed.

The SF-36 health survey questionnaire and the HRQOL are general health survey questionnaires applicable to patients with many health alterations including heart disease. The Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaires is a specific questionnaire designed to measure some aspects of quality of life with heart disease.

The Medical Outcomes Trust Short Form 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36)

The SF-36 is currently the most widely used health care measurement of quality of life (Haywood et al, 2005). The SF-36 is a 36 item self-administered questionnaire. The general categories of the questionnaire include physical functioning, ability to physically carry out their life role, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role emotional, and mental health.

The Health Related Quality of Life questionnaire (HRQOL-14)

The Health Related Quality of Life questionnaire (HRQOL-14) is being used by the CDC’s Division of Population Health. They are attempting to carry out surveillance and dissemination of HRQOL to assess well-being outcomes in the US. They are encouraging the use of the tool for epidemiological studies, risk factor identification, health disparities and additional research. The tool measures physical and mental health.

On the individual level, HRQOL includes physical and mental health beliefs, functional status, social support and socioeconomic status. The three modules of questions can be seen on at this website address. http://www.cdc.gov/hrqol/hrqol14_measure.htm

Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ)

The development of the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) was carried out by Green et al in 2000. The tool was tested for reliability and validity. It is a self-administered, 23-item questionnaire that tests for physical limitations, symptoms, self-efficacy, social interference and quality of life. It has been used extensively with patients with cardiovascular disease. This questionnaire can be seen in its entirety at this web address. http://www.queri.research.va.gov/chf/products/hf_toolkit/KansasCity-CardiomyopathyQuestionnaire_Spertus.pdf


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