The impact of intestinal transplantation on quality of life.
Ambrose T., Holdaway L., Smith A., Howe H., Vokes L., Vrakas G., Reddy S., Giele H., Travis SPL., Friend PJ., Allan PJ.
INTRODUCTION: Intestinal failure (IF) and intestinal transplant (ITx) are associated with poor quality of life (QoL). Disease-specific assessment of QoL for IF and ITx is challenging, owing to the different problems encountered. We have sought to compare QoL pre-ITx with post-ITx and have compared generic QoL with a stable IF population. METHODS: Two prospectively maintained databases of patients referred for and undergoing ITx and a chronic (Type 2 & 3) IF cohort were interrogated. QoL instruments used were generic (EQ-5D-5L and SF-36) and disease-specific (HPN-QOL and ITx-QOL). Analysis used Student's t-test and one-way ANOVA with Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Data were collected pre- and post-ITx at 3, 6, 12-months and yearly thereafter. RESULTS: All QoL instruments improved following ITx to levels comparable with a cohort of stable IF patients not requiring ITx. Both the visual analogue score component (EQ-5D-5L) and the effect of underlying illness on QoL (HPN-QOL/ITx-QOL) were higher following ITx than either pre-ITx or when compared with the IF cohort. Effects on general health, ability to eat and drink, to holiday and travel were improved as early as 3 months post-ITx. Other components did not before 6-12 months following ITx, but were maintained to at least 24 months. Patient personal financial pressures are greater following ITx, even in a publicly funded healthcare system. CONCLUSION: ITx has beneficial effects on QoL compared to those assessed for or awaiting ITx. QoL following ITx is similar to patients with IF not requiring ITx. A QoL instrument that covers the journey of patients from IF through ITx would assist longitudinal analysis of the value and timing of ITx at an individual level.