Background. Gynecological disorders can have adverse effects on a woman’s quality of life. Most hysterectomies are thus performed to enhance women’s quality of life rather than to save life. This study aims at evaluating the long-term impact of hysterectomy on this outcome variable.
Methods. The quality of life in 111 women undergoing hysterectomy for benign reasons was tested before, and six and twelve months after, the operation. A control-group of non-hysterectomized women from the normal population was tested once. Ferrans & Powers’ Quality of Life Index, consisting of four life domains, was used. This index has a pre-set highest possible obtainable score. For the subjects with a high pre-test score, there was little scope for further measurable improvement after hysterectomy, which gives a false stability in the material. A method for calculating the relative differences was introduced.
Results. The health and functioning domain of the quality of life among women awaiting hysterectomy is significantly lower compared to that of the control-group (p<.01) Both six and twelve months after the hysterectomy, the patients have reached the same level of their health and functioning as the control-group. Using the relative difference-form, it is demonstrated that the subjects have obtained significantly higher levels in all the domains of quality of life after hysterectomy.
Conclusions. The results of this study show that hysterectomy is associated with a positive long-term impact on a woman’s quality of life.