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Commentary |

Evaluating Health-Related Quality of Life, Work Ability, and Disability in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: An Unmet Need

Melvyn Rubenfire, MD, FCCP; Giuseppina Lippo, MD; Bruno D. Bodini, MD; Francesco Blasi, MD, PhD, FCCP; Luigi Allegra, MD, FCCP; Eduardo Bossone, MD, PhD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine (Dr. Rubenfire), Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Department of Occupational and Environmental Health (Dr. Lippo) and Institute of Respiratory Disease (Drs. Bodini, Blasi, Allegra, and Bossone), University of Milan, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico Fondazione Policlinico-Mangiagalli-Regina Elena, Milan, Italy.

Melvyn Rubenfire, MD, FCCP, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106; e-mail: mrubenfi@umich.edu


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2009 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2009;136(2):597-603. doi:10.1378/chest.08-1260
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To our knowledge, there are no specific and validated measures of quality of life (QoL) or degree of disability for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). A review of the literature shows that, with the exception of one recently designed specifically for pulmonary hypertension, QoL questionnaires used in PAH studies are generic measures. These are selected because of shared symptoms that do not necessarily correlate well with functional or physiologic measures and have not been validated for applicability in PAH.

In this review, we present the available QoL tools for pulmonary artery hypertension and describe the need for more specific instruments that consider the physical and emotional implications of the diseases associated with PAH and the impact of various treatment options. We also discuss the impact of PAH on work ability and the need for provisions to address medical disability status and Social Security benefit status.


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