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Qualitative interviews vs standardized self-report questionnaires in assessing quality of life in heart transplant recipients

The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2011.03.017
  • Quality Of Life
  • Qualitative Interviews
  • Transplantation
  • Phenomenology
  • Audio-Visual Methodology
  • Medicine
  • Philosophy


Quality of life (QoL) studies in heart transplant recipients (HTRs) using validated, quantitative, self-report questionnaires have reported poor QoL in approximately 20% of patients. This consecutive mixed methods study compared self-report questionnaires, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey (MOS SF-36) and the Atkinson Life Satisfaction Scale, with phenomenologically informed audiovisual (AV) qualitative interview data in 27 medically stable HTRs (70% male; age 53 ± 13.77 years; time since transplant 4.06 ± 2.42 years). Self-report questionnaire data reported poor QoL and more distress compared with previous studies and normative population samples; in contrast, 52% of HTRs displayed pervasive distress according to visual methodology. Using qualitative methods to assess QoL yields information that would otherwise remain unobserved by the exclusive use of quantitative QOL questionnaires.

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