BACKGROUND: The Registry Evaluation of Vital Information for Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) in Ambulatory Life study is a prospective multicenter cohort of 400 ambulatory patients with advanced chronic systolic heart failure (HF). The aim of the study is to better understand disease trajectory and optimal timing of advanced HF therapies. We examined patient health-related quality of life (HRQOL) data collected at enrollment and their association with patient treatment preferences for VAD placement. METHODS: Baseline assessment of HRQOL included the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) and the EuroQol EQ-5D-3L Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), along with patient self-assessment of remaining life (PSARL). Descriptive statistics were used to present baseline HRQOL data and Spearman correlation tests to assess the association between KCCQ, VAS, and VAD treatment preference with patient clinical characteristics of interest. RESULTS: The median age was 60 years, 75% were male, and the median left ventricular ejection fraction was 20%. The median (25th percentile, 75th percentile), baseline KCCQ summary score was 64 (48, 78), VAS score 65 (50, 75), and PSARL 7 years (5, 10). There were statistically significant associations of baseline KCCQ and VAS with New York Heart Association class and Interagency Registry of Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support profile (p < 0.005 for all comparisons). Baseline KCCQ and VAS revealed a modest association with PSARL (correlation = 0.45 and 0.35, respectively; p < 0.001), and many patients were overly optimistic about their expected survival. VAD treatment preference was associated with KCCQ scores (p < 0.031), but the absolute differences were small. VAD treatment preference was independent of other key clinical characteristics such as subject age, VAS, and PSARL. CONCLUSIONS: We found a lack of strong association between HRQOL and patient preference for VAD therapy. Better understanding of patients’ perceptions of their illness and how this relates to HRQOL outcomes, clinician risk assessment, and patient decision-making is needed. This may in turn allow better guidance toward available HF therapies in this vulnerable population.
- heart failure
- mechanical circulatory assist
- quality of life
- shared decision-making