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Arch Womens Ment Health. 2003 Nov;6(4):239-43.

Quality of life in alcohol misuse: comparison of men and women.

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Departments of Clinical Biochemistry and Psychological Medicine, King's College, London, UK.


The theoretical and practical basis for Quality of Life assessment is briefly discussed. In the absence of a specific QoL measure for alcohol misusers, generic and symptom-specific measures have been used. Application of these instruments to alcohol misusers indicate severely impaired QoL, worse than that of patients with malignant disease. QoL improves with abstinence and deteriorates with relapse. Comparison of QoL in males and females indicates that for nearly all parameters, QoL in females is worse than in males, for comparable levels of dependency: Disturbed sleep with depression is a particular feature of the impaired QoL in female alcohol misusers. Comparison of the patients' perceptions of their QoL with that of their attending physician shows only a weak correlation between the two scores with that of the patients being consistently higher. Assessment of QoL in alcoholics is a valuable measure of clinical status and is more relevant than simple measures of alcohol consumption, or liver toxicity tests. It also helps to identify predictors of relapse and issues of major concern to the individual patient.

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