Legal Articles

May 16, 2013

Doctors urged to monitor heart patients’ quality of life

A person’s “quality of life” can be thought of as his or her level of happiness, the ease of access to the basic amenities required to be comfortable, the degree of health that is enjoyed, and the strength of the support system (family, friends, etc.) the person has to fall back on. Heart patients often live with a lower quality of life because of stress and the effects of their heart disease. This is why the American Heart Association has release a statement that “urged doctors to use [quality of life] surveys to assess patients’ heart health.” 

These quality of life surveys have been designed to measure how much of an impact heart disease has had on patients, with questions about “their symptoms, quality of life, and ability to function physically and mentally.” When administered and followed up on correctly, these surveys can be used to help predict future health problems the patient might have.  

Health care ought to improve quality of life 

Dr. John Rumsfeld of the AHA said, “Ultimately, efforts to improve the health care system will only be successful if they translate into better patient outcomes—not just longevity, but also how well patients live.” 

Surveys might weed out depression 

Surveys are often administered to patients after they receive care, but they are rarely followed up on or utilized in any type of predictive or preventative care. One reason why heart patients ought to be especially targeted with these surveys is because their conditions often contribute to depression, which issue can then have a substantially negative impact on their heart health.


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