Title. Health-related quality of life after coronary artery bypass grafting.
Aim. The purpose of this study was to monitor changes in health-related quality of life and to identify associated factors among patients having coronary artery bypass grafting and their significant others.
Background. Heart disease and its treatment affects the lives of both patients and their significant others, and the early stage of recovery from surgery causes particular anxiety for both.
Method. In this longitudinal study, three sets of questionnaire data were collected 1, 6 and 12 months after coronary artery bypass grafting surgery from patients and significant others at one university hospital in Finland in 2001–2005. We recruited all patients who had been admitted for elective coronary artery bypass grafting surgery during the period specified. The data consisted of the responses from those patients and significant others who had completed all three questionnaires and for whom patient–significant other pairs existed (n = 163).
Findings. Patients’ and their significant others’ health-related quality of life was at its lowest one month after the operation and improved during follow-up. The change in the mean health-related quality of life score differed between patients and significant others; the improvement in the patients’ health-related quality of life was greater than that in the significant others. Neither the background variables used in the study nor social support were associated with change in health-related quality of life.
Conclusion. Further research is needed to identify factors explaining the change in health-related quality of life to develop interventions to support patients and significant others.