, 10:94,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 17 Aug 2012

Patients undergoing subacute rehabilitation have accurate expectations of their health-related quality of life at discharge

Abstract

Background

Expectations held by patients and health professionals may affect treatment choices and participation (by both patients and health professionals) in therapeutic interventions in contemporary patient-centered healthcare environments. If patients in rehabilitation settings overestimate their discharge health-related quality of life, they may become despondent as their progress falls short of their expectations. On the other hand, underestimating their discharge health-related quality of life may lead to a lack of motivation to participate in therapies if they do not perceive likely benefit. There is a scarcity of empirical evidence evaluating whether patients’ expectations of future health states are accurate. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the accuracy with which older patients admitted for subacute in-hospital rehabilitation can anticipate their discharge health-related quality of life.

Methods

A prospective longitudinal cohort investigation of agreement between patients’ anticipated discharge health-related quality of life (as reported on the EQ-5D instrument at admission to a rehabilitation unit) and their actual self-reported health-related quality of life at the time of discharge from this unit was undertaken. The mini-mental state examination was used as an indicator of patients’ cognitive ability.

Results

Overall, 232(85%) patients had all assessment data completed and were included in analysis. Kappa scores ranged from 0.42-0.68 across the five EQ-5D domains and two patient cognition groups. The percentage of exact correct matches within each domain ranged from 69% to 85% across domains and cognition groups. Overall 40% of participants in each cognition group correctly anticipated all of their self-reported discharge EQ-5D domain responses.

Conclusions

Patients admitted for subacute in-hospital rehabilitation were able to anticipate their discharge health-related quality of life on the EQ-5D instrument with a moderate level of accuracy. This finding adds to the foundational empirical work supporting joint treatment decision making and patient-centered models of care during rehabilitation following acute illness or injury. Accurate patient expectations of the impact of treatment (or disease progression) on future health-related related quality of life is likely to allow patients and health professionals to successfully target interventions to priority areas where meaningful gains can be achieved.