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eISSN: 1643-3750

Assessment of quality of life in patients with chronic pancreatitis

Anna Mokrowiecka, Dominik Pinkowski, Ewa Malecka-Panas

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(10): CR583-588

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881985

Available online: 2011-10-01

Published: 2011-10-01

Background:    Quality of life (QOL) has increasingly become a factor in management decisions in patients with chronic diseases. Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a debilitating disorder that causes not only pain and endo/exocrine insufficiency but is also connected with some social issues. The aim of this study was to assess QOL in patients with chronic pancreatitis in correlation with the disease activity or the environmental/social factors that can influence their well-being.
    Material/Methods:    The study group comprised 43 patients with CP: M/F 37/6; mean age 47.9±8.6; range: 30–74 yrs. The control group consisted of 40 healthy volunteers of comparable demographics. Different degrees of CP activity were defined using the Cambridge classification. Pain intensity and frequency were assessed using a pain index. QOL was assessed using the Short-Form-36 questionnaire.
    Results:    Mean QOL scores in CP were lower compared to the control group in all SF-36 domains, particularly in general health perception, physical functioning, role-physical (p<0.001) and vitality (p<0.05). We observed correlation of QOL results and pain index in all domains, and number of the disease relapses and body weight in 5 out of 8 domains (p<0.001and p<0.05, respectively). The worst QOL scores were obtained in retired patients, as well as in unemployed persons in almost all SF-36 domains (p<0.001).
    Conclusions:    Chronic pancreatitis significantly impairs patients’ quality of life. Severity of abdominal pain, low body weight, and loss of work were the factors most closely associated with poor health status perception.

Keywords: Poland, Pancreatitis, Chronic - pathology, Pain Measurement - statistics & numerical data, Body Weight - physiology, Adult, Quality of Life - psychology, Questionnaires, Unemployment - psychology