Using a structured, computer-administered questionnaire for evaluating health-related QOL with chronic lower extremity wounds.
Patients with chronic wounds of the lower extremity (CWLEs) often experience functional disability and emotional distress; incorporating health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measurements in clinical practice may improve understanding of chronic wound patients' healthcare needs. A computer-administered instrument that measures HRQoL variables in patients with CWLEs was developed to overcome common limitations to assessing HRQoL in this population. Face validity of the questionnaire variables assessing physical, social, emotional, and functional well-being was obtained and a computer application to display the structured questionnaire on an electronic kiosk with touch-screen interface was developed. All patient responses are stored in the clinic's electronic health record system. To evaluate use of this system in a wound care clinic, 66 consecutive patients were asked to complete the questionnaire; of those, 64 participated. Internal consistency of the instrument across responses was estimated by the Kuder-Richardson formula 20 as 0.79. None of the patients requested help completing the questionnaire or working with the touch-screen interface. Patients most frequently reported frustration (63%), trouble sleeping (48%), anxiety (42%), and impaired mobility (41%), confirming that CWLEs negatively affect patient quality of life. These findings suggest that additional validation and reliability studies, including research to evaluate the relationship between HRQoL, protocols of care, and wound outcomes, are warranted.
Harlin, SL; Harlin, RD; Sherman, TI; Rozsas, CM; Shafqat, MS; Meyers, W
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