OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the change in fibroid specific and health-related quality of life associated with uterine artery embolization (UAE). To consider the impact of specific factors, including the change in symptom severity, health-related quality of life scores, and uterine size on patient satisfaction following UAE.
STUDY DESIGN: A validated, fibroid specific, symptom and health-related quality of life questionnaire (UPS-QOL) was mailed to 81 women who had undergone UAE from July 1998 through August 2002. The primary outcome measure was change in fibroid symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQL) following UAE. Secondary outcomes included objective measures of patient satisfaction, and documented decrease in uterine volume following UAE.
RESULTS: Questionnaires were completed by 64 women (80.0%) at a mean of 32.1 months from the procedure. Symptom Severity scores from UFS-QOL decrease by a mean of 35.2% and Total HRQL scores increased by a mean of 35.7% following UAE. Both of these indicated improvement. There was a direct association between a woman's overall self-reported satisfaction with the procedure and her change in symptom severity and total HRQL score (p < 0.0001 and P = 0.0004). Satisfaction was also significantly associated with the decrease in uterine volume following UAE(p = 0.0196).
Conclusion: UAE offers an alternative management option for some women with symptomatic uterine fibroids. Women who undergo UAE have a significant decrease in symptom severity and increased HRQL. UFS-QOL provides a sensitive means to detect f changes in fibroid-symptom outcome. Satisfaction measures can also be standardized to , better assess and compare important outcomes of alternative therapies for uterine fibroids.
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