BACKGROUND: Improving patient-reported outcomes (e.g. health status) has become an important goal in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy, in addition to reducing mortality and morbidity. We examined predictors of changes in health status scores between and within patients 12 months post LVAD implantation. METHODS: Health status [Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ); Short-Form 12 (SF-12)] were assessed at 3-4 weeks after implantation, and at 3, 6 and 12 months follow up in 54 LVAD patients (74% men; mean age 54 ± 9 years). RESULTS: Patients experienced significant improvements in health status between baseline and 3 months follow-up as assessed by the KCCQ (clinical summary score: F = 33.49, P < 0.001; overall summary score: F = 31.13, P < 0.001) and the SF-12 (physical component score: F = 31.59, P < 0.001; mental component score: F = 21.77, P < 0.001), but not between 3 months and 12 months follow-up (P > 0.05 for all). Higher scores on anxiety and depression over time, older age, lower ejection fraction, and more co-morbidity were associated with poorer health status scores on one or both of the KCCQ and SF-12 subscales. The majority of the between-patient variance of the mental component summary scores (82.6%), but not the KCCQ overall summary score (41.9%), KCCQ clinical summary score (36.2%) and physical component summary scores (23.2%), was explained by the sociodemographic, clinical and psychological factors. CONCLUSION: The majority of LVAD patients show a significant improvement in health status after LVAD implantation. However, there are large differences in individual health status score trajectories which are only partly explained by measures of disease severity pre-LVAD, co-morbidity and psychological stress.
European Journal of Heart Failure, 2014, Vol 16, Issue 5, p. 566-573