Quality of life and patient satisfaction following treatment for menorrhagia.
Coulter A., Peto V., Jenkinson C.
This prospective cohort study of patients who consulted general practitioners complaining of excessive menstrual bleeding measured changes in quality of life and patients' satisfaction following different forms of treatment for menorrhagia. Three hundred and forty-eight patients were followed-up for 18 months using self-completion questionnaires which included generic measurements of health-related quality of life (SF-36) and a disease-specific questionnaire to measure the social impact of menstrual symptoms. Only 15 patients (4%) received no active treatment, 132 (38%) underwent surgical treatment (hysterectomy or endometrial resection), and the remainder were prescribed drugs. Those in the surgical group with both moderate and severe symptoms experienced significant improvements in their quality of life. Patients with moderate symptoms who did not undergo surgery improved in the social functioning and energy dimensions of the SF-36, but those with severe symptoms who received drug treatment only experienced no significant quality-of-life benefits. Patients who had not had surgery were significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with their treatment (21%) than those in the surgical group (5%). Since menorrhagia can have adverse effects on many aspects of a patient's daily life, it is important to measure the effects of treatment on quality of life. This study has demonstrated the feasibility of doing so.