Patient Surveys Can Help Improve Quality of Life, Outcomes

Completing a quality-of-life questionnaire at a healthcare provider’s office could help patients live longer and better, according to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA).

Patient surveys can help reveal depression, which can significantly worsen cardiovascular (CV) health, but is often underdiagnosed despite being common among CV patients researchers say. Healthcare providers can assess their patients’ CV health by using standardized patient surveys, which focus on a patient’s quality of life. These surveys can directly measure the impact of heart disease on patients, including their symptoms, quality of life, and ability to function physically and mentally.

They can also predict death, future cardiac events, hospitalization and costs of care. The results should be considered as important as other outcomes, like survival, statement authors said.

Patient surveys have been used successfully in clinical trials and research studies; however, they aren’t used enough in day-to-day care, AHA officials continue. Direct patient input can also move heart disease care closer to patient-centered care, aligning it with healthcare reform goals.

Healthcare providers should integrate asking their patients to complete health status surveys as part of routine care, to measure their cardiovascular health.

Source: American Heart Association (AHA), May 6, 2013

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