Objective: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), characterized by frequent episodes of heartburn, imposes considerable burdens on both patients and health services. In addition to gastrointestinal symptoms, GORD may precipitate a variety of extra-oesophageal complications, such as asthma and chest pain, which can significantly impair patients' quality of life. This paper aims to describe the impact of heartburn on patients' health-related quality of life (HRQL) in Italy. Research design and methods: Consecutive patients from general practices and gastroenterology clinics who were experiencing heartburn were invited to complete a selection of standardized patient-reported outcomes instruments, including Italian translations of the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS), Short-Form 36 (SF-36), Quality of Life in Reflux and Dyspepsia questionnaire (QOLRAD) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale. Frequency and severity of heartburn in the preceding week were recorded. Results: Assessments were completed by 152 patients (mean age, 47 years), of whom 60% were female. Sixty-one per cent had moderate symptoms and 74% had symptoms on three or more days in the previous week. Patients were most bothered by reflux, abdominal pain and indigestion. As a result of their symptoms, patients experienced impaired vitality, sleep disturbance and other alimentary problems. This led to impaired HRQL across all but one SF-36 domain. According to the HAD scale, 21% of patients were depressed and 19% were anxious. Conclusion: GORD substantially impairs many aspects of HRQL, including sleep, vitality and emotional health.
- Burden of illness
- Health-related quality of life
ASJC Scopus subject areas