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Arch Hellen Med, 18(3), May-June 2001, 272-278


Basic principles of questionnaire survey of quality of life in hepatitis C

Department of Gastroenterology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece

In recent years many reports have been published dealing with the quality of life (QoL) of patients with "asymptomatic" hepatitis C. There is a continuous flow of new evidence supporting the observation that HCV (+) patients fell ill with mental and physical impairment although they have no apparent clinical deterioration. The mechanism of this QoL impairment in hepatitis C is unknown but the finding that the QoL improves remarkably after interferon (with or without ribavirin) therapy indicates that viremia and its negative immunologic consequences probably plays a major role in QoL deterioration in hepatitis C. However hepatitis C therapy itself may affect QoL through its side-effects. Many QoL questionnaires targeting the better understanding and assessment of QoL in patients with hepatitis C have been developed of which the most commonly used are the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), the SF-36 and the Visual Analogue Scales (VAS). Disease specific QoL questionnaires are usually constructed with both general and disease specific items. One of these is the Hepatitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (HQLQ) which has been proved valid and reliable. At present there are a number of ongoing multicenter studies focusing on QoL of patients with hepatitis C.

Key words: Hepatitis C, Quality of life, Questionnaire.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine