Susan L. Smith, MN, PhD


March 31, 2003

Health-related Quality of Life

"The best measure of quality is not how well or how frequently a medical service is given, but how closely the result approaches the fundamental objectives of prolonging life, relieving distress, restoring function, and preventing disability".

Lembcke, 1952[5]

We need to know more than that patients "get better." We need to know the consequences of poor health outcomes, and we need to know when more care is better and when less care is harmful. The focus of evaluation of outcomes in transplantation is shifting away from survival and clinical success primarily because transplantation is a highly successful treatment option for patients with end-stage organ disease. Over the last decade, the major clinical issues confronting transplantation in its formative years have been successfully dealt with. The focus for patients, providers, and payers alike is the end result of transplantation, which of course includes quality of life. As improving daily function and quality of life have become higher priorities, patient-reported outcomes have become a focus of outcomes research and quality improvement initiatives. The reader is referred to previous publications by the author[6,7] for a comprehensive review of the study of patient-reported outcomes and health-related quality of life in solid organ transplantation.


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