Health-Related Quality-of-Life Measurement in Hypertension: A Review of Randomised Controlled Drug Trials
In hypertension, tolerability of drug treatment is important because individuals may see the use of antihypertensive medications as more troubling than their seemingly symptomless disease. This may result in noncompliance and ineffectual long term treatment. In the past 15 years, new antihypertensive medications have been marketed on the basis of the advantages they offer with regard to adverse effects and the unavoidable impact of such adverse effects on a person's quality of life. When related to health, quality of life refers to the physical, psychological and social dimensions of health that are influenced by a person's experiences, beliefs, expectations and perceptions. To measure this concept, many instruments, either generic or specific, may be used. The purpose of this study is to describe, by way of a critical review of the literature, the instruments that are most often used in the measurement of health-related quality-of-life (HR-QOL) in people using antihypertensive drug treatments. We carried out a search of the literature published in English in the period January 1966 to July 2000, looking for randomised controlled trials of antihypertensive drugs. Using the Medline database, we included 77 papers in our review. Our main finding suggests that HR-QOL changes associated with antihypertensive treatment are measured with many different instruments. In almost all studies, at least 1 instrument specific to a health dimension was used, whereas not many used a generic instrument only. The most commonly measured HR-QOL dimensions were cognitive function, symptomatic well-being, sexual function, psychological well-being, sleep dysfunction, social participation and general health perception. Since the choice of dimensions to measure depends not only on the disease but also on the drug, this review adds further evidence that a generic instrument as well as a preference measurement should be added to a specific instrument.
ACE inhibitors, Alpha 2 adrenoceptor antagonists, Alpha adrenoceptor antagonists, Angiotensin II receptor antagonists, Antihypertensives, Beta adrenoceptor antagonists, Diuretics, Hypertension, Pharmacoeconomics, Quality of life, Quality of life rating scales, Vasodilators
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