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Abstract

We report on a prospective multicenter study to assess pretransplantation and posttransplantation health-related quality of life (HRQL) of liver transplant recipients. HRQL was assessed at several timepoints using a self-completion questionnaire consisting of the EuroQol instrument (EQ-5D) and the 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) health status profile measure. All individuals selected to receive treatment as part of the UK NHS liver transplantation program at each of six liver transplantation centers in England and Wales during a 2-year period (n = 542) were eligible to be included on the study. An overall response rate of 84% (455 responses) was achieved. A paired comparison of HRQL at listing and 3 months posttransplantation showed statistically significant improvements (P < .05) in all dimensions of the SF-36 (with the exception of Bodily Pain [P = .686]) and the EQ-5D tariff and visual analogue scale (VAS) scores. An analysis of posttransplantation HRQL over time for patients who survived until the end of the study (24 months posttransplantation) showed a statistically significant improvement (P < .05) for all dimensions of the SF-36 (apart from Mental Health [P = .245] and Role–Emotional dimensions [P = .265]) and the EQ-5D VAS and tariff scores. Adjusting for patients who died posttransplantation reduced mean EQ-5D tariff scores substantially, and the change over time in EQ-5D tariff scores was no longer statistically significant (P = .55). Results of regression analysis conducted to assess the importance of patient characteristics and center size on EQ-5D tariff and VAS scores generated posttransplantation indicated there was variation in scores according to patient age and center size.