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Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2004 Feb;2(2):157-63.

Determinants of health-related quality of life in patients with chronic liver diseases.

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Department of Internal Medicine I, Klinikum Saarbrücken gGmbH, Winterberg 1, D-66119, Saarbruecken, Germany.



The study aims to assess influence of the liver disease, active medical and psychiatric comorbidities, and sociodemographic variables in the determination of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) measured by a generic and a liver-specific instrument in unselected patients with chronic liver disease.


Two hundred four of 255 consecutive patients (80%) with all stages of various liver diseases attending a tertiary-care center completed the following self-report questionnaires: sociodemographic questionnaire of the Competence Network Bowel Disease, morbidity list of the German Pain Questionnaire, the German version of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-D), and Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) as generic instruments; and the German version of the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ) as a disease-specific HRQOL-instrument.


Stepwise multiple regression showed that cause of liver disease, severity of disease (cirrhosis vs. no cirrhosis, Child-Pugh score), sex, age, and social class had no effect on HRQOL. Anxiety resp. depression scores >/= 11 in the German version of the HADS, indicating a probable psychiatric disorder, contributed independently to the impaired HRQOL in the total score of the CLDQ and the Physical and Mental Summary Scores of the SF-36 (P < 0.0001). Number of active medical comorbidities contributed independently to the reduced HRQOL in the total score of the CLDQ and the Physical Summary Score of the SF-36 (P < 0.0001). Furthermore, the SF-36 Mental Summary Score was influenced negatively by active cardiovascular comorbidity (P < 0.003).


Psychiatric comorbidity and active medical comorbidity, and not severity of the liver disease according to Child-Pugh score, determine reduced HRQOL in patients with chronic liver diseases.

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