Long-term quality of life and posttraumatic stress following elective cardiac surgery: preliminary findings of a 5-year follow-up study
Patient centered care
Daiva Gražulytė
Evaldas Kazlauskas
Ieva Norkienė
Smiltė Kolevinskaitė
Greta Kezytė
Indrė Urbanavičiūtė
Akvilė Sabestinaitė
Gintarė Korsakaitė
Paulina Želvienė
Donata Ringaitienė
Gintarė Šostakaitė
Jūratė Šipylaitė
Published 2019-05-07


cardiac surgery
health-related quality of life
posttraumatic stress

How to Cite

Gražulytė D., Kazlauskas E., Norkienė I., Kolevinskaitė S., Kezytė G., Urbanavičiūtė I., Sabestinaitė A., Korsakaitė G., Želvienė P., Ringaitienė D., Šostakaitė G. and Šipylaitė J. (2019) “Long-term quality of life and posttraumatic stress following elective cardiac surgery: preliminary findings of a 5-year follow-up study”, Acta medica Lituanica, 26(1), pp. 87-92. doi: 10.6001/actamedica.v26i1.3960.


Background. Heart surgery is a major stressful event that can have a significant negative effect on patients’ quality of life (QoL) and may cause long-term posttraumatic stress reactions. The aim of this pilot study was to estimate the longitudinal change and predictors of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) dynamics and identify factors associated with PTS at 5-year follow-up (T2) after elective cardiac surgery and associations with pre-surgery (T1) QoL. Materials and methods. Single-centre prospective study was conducted after Regional Bioethics Committee approval. Adult consecutive patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery were included. HRQOL was measured using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) questionnaire before (T1) and 5-years after (T2) cardiac surgery. Posttraumatic stress was assessed using the International Trauma Questionnaire. Results. The pilot study revealed a significant positive change at 5-year follow-up in several domains of SF-36: physical functioning (PF), energy/fatigue (E/F), and social functioning (SF). Prolonged postoperative hospital stay was associated with change in SF (p < 0.01), E/F (p < 0.05) and emotional well-being (p < 0.05). The percentage of patients that had the posttraumatic stress disor. der (PTSD) at T2 was 12.2%. Posttraumatic stress symptoms were associated with longer hospitalization after surgery (p < 0.01). Conclusions. HRQOL improved from baseline to five years postoperatively. Patients with lower preoperative HRQOL scores tended to have a more significant improvement of HRQOL five years after surgery. A prolonged postoperative hospital stay had a negative impact on postoperative social functioning, energy/fatigue, and emotional well-being. Increased levels of PTSD were found in cardiac surgery patients following five years after the surgery.
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