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J Vasc Surg. 1999 Oct;30(4):710-9.

Evaluating and improving health-related quality of life in patients with varicose veins.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, Charing Cross Hospital, London, United Kingdom.



We set out to assess the new Aberdeen Varicose Veins Questionnaire (Aberdeen Questionnaire) for the properties necessary for a valid measure of health outcome, to determine quality of life of patients with varicose veins, and to determine the effect of surgery on quality of life.


A prospective consecutive cohort of 137 patients undergoing varicose vein surgery completed the self-administered SF-36 and Aberdeen Questionnaire and 25 questions relating to the symptoms and concerns of patients with varicose veins. Follow-up was done by repeated questionnaires 6 weeks after surgery. The Aberdeen Questionnaire was assessed for reliability, validity, responsiveness, and practicality. Quality of life of patients with varicose veins was compared with an age- and sex-matched sample of the general population.


Reliability estimates for the 8 scales short-form health survey (SF-36) and the Aberdeen Questionnaire were all above 0.7 (Cronbach's alpha). The Aberdeen Questionnaire had a highly significant correlation (r = 0. 74, P <.0001) with the patients' symptoms and concerns questionnaire, which is evidence of its validity. Patients with varicose veins score lower than United Kingdom norms (P <.001) in the physical domains of the SF-36, indicating worse health. After surgery, the SF-36 scores improved in all 8 domains of health, reaching significance in "Mental Health" (P <.05) and approaching significance in "General Health" (P =.066). The Health Transition Item of the SF-36 and the Aberdeen Questionnaire both showed a highly significant improvement in health (P <.001).


The Aberdeen Questionnaire is a valid measure of quality of life for patients with varicose veins. Persons with varicose veins have a reduced quality of life compared with the general population, and this discrepancy is significantly improved at 6 weeks by operating on them.

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