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The Impact of Underlying Conditions on Quality-of-Life Measurement Among Patients with Chronic Wounds, as Measured by Utility Values: A Review with an Additional Study.

Advances in Wound Care 2023 October 10
Significance: Quality of life (QoL) is important to patients with chronic wounds and is rarely formally evaluated. Understanding what comorbidities most affect the individual versus their wounds could be a key metric. Recent Advances: The last 20 years have seen substantial advances in QoL instruments and conversion of patient data to a single value known as the health utilities index (HUI). We review these advances, along with wound-related QoL, and analyze real-world comorbidities challenging wound care. Critical Issues: To understand the impact of underlying comorbidities in a real-world patient population, we examined a convenience sample of 382 patients seen at a hospital-based outpatient wound center. This quality reporting study falls outside the regulations that govern human subject research. Comorbid conditions were used to calculate HUIs using a variety of literature-reported approaches, while Wound-Quality-of-Life (W-QoL) questionnaire data were collected from patients during their first visit. The mean number of conditions per patient was 8; 229 patients (59.9%) had utility values for comorbidities/conditions, which were worse/lower than their wounds' values. Sixty-three (16.5%) patients had depression and/or anxiety, 64 (16.8%) had morbid obesity, and 204 (53.4%) had gait and mobility disorders, all of which could have affected W-QoL scoring. The mean minimum utility value (0.5) was within 0.05 units of an average of 13 studies reporting health utilities from wound care populations using the EuroQol 5 Dimension instrument. Future Directions: The comorbidity associated with the lowest utility value is what might most influence the QoL of patients with chronic wounds. This finding needs further investigation.

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