Abstract 15006: The Associations Between Symptom Clusters and Quality of Life Trends Following Coronary Artery Bypass Surgeries in Taiwan
Objectives: Patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery (CABS) often experience multiple symptoms concurrently following surgeries. Quality of life (QOL) has been an important outcome measurement in cardiac patients. Little is known on correlations between symptom clusters and trends of QOL among CABS patients within three months in Taiwan. The aims of the study are to identify cluster subgroups based on eight commonly seen symptoms and examine how these identified symptom cluster subgroups influenced QOL over time.
Methods: A prospective correlational design with repeated measurement was used. Symptoms were measured by the Cardiac Symptom Survey at 1 week post-operatively. The SF-36 was administered at baseline, 6 weeks and 3 months post-operatively. A two-stage cluster analysis was conducted to identify subgroups of patients based on their perceived severity of the eight symptoms.
Results: A total of 223 subjects from 6 medical centers were included. The result of cluster analysis showed a best solution of three classes and were further named “mild symptom group” (N=127), “moderate symptom group” (N=67), and “severe symptom group” (N=29). The “mild symptom group” had the greatest improvements in physical function, role limitation due to physical problems, general health, and role limitation due to emotional problems from baseline to 6 weeks and 3 months following surgeries, respectively (p<.05) when compared with the other two groups. There were no significant differences in the improvements among the other four subscales of the SF-36.
Conclusions: Even though all three groups experience improvements at three months, patients who present the lowest level of symptom burden at one week post-operatively have the greatest improvements in QOL trends than the other two groups. Besides, patients in the severe symptom group show the worst QOL trends over time. In contrary to the previous study which showed that the highest symptom burden cluster group presented the best psychosocial functioning trends over time as compared to the lower and moderate level ones. The clinical healthcare provider should consider the culture differences when caring for patients with severe symptom burden following CABS.
Author Disclosures: M. Tsai: None. P. Yuan: None. F. Tsai: None. T. Huang: None.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.