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Free Content The assessment of patients' health-related quality of life during tuberculosis treatment in Wuhan, China

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OBJECTIVES: To validate the SF-36 questionnaire in a Chinese population and to assess the patients' health-related quality of life (HQoL) during tuberculosis (TB) treatment.

DESIGN: The SF-36 (Chinese version) scores of 102 TB cases before treatment, after the initial phase and at the end of treatment were compared with those of 103 control subjects.

RESULTS: The SF-36 scores were valid (internal consistency >0.4) and reliable (Cronchbach's α >0.7). Before treatment, all except the role-emotional, social function and mental health scales of the TB patients were lower than those of the controls (P < 0.01); the patients' scores increased significantly during treatment (P < 0.01). In a stepwise regression model, age (P < 0.01, OR 0.95), white blood cell count (P < 0.01, OR 0.92) and number of symptoms (P < 0.05, OR 0.99) were associated with the total SF-36 score. At completion of treatment, sex (P < 0.01, OR 0.25) and haemoglobin (P < 0.05, OR 0.88) remained at the end of the model.

CONCLUSION: The SF-36 scores of TB patients are low before treatment, indicating a decline in HQoL, with physical scales most affected. However, scores increase over the course of treatment. The Chinese version of SF-36 is a reliable tool for monitoring HQoL throughout TB treatment.

Keywords: SF-36; health-related quality of life (HQoL); tuberculosis (TB)

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: M├ędecins du Monde, Chengdu Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Chengdu City, China

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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