Burden of illness in Italian patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease

Franco Pacini, Carlo Calabrese, Livio Cipolletta, Mario D'Ayala Valva, Antonio Russo, Vincenzo Savarino, Sergio Vigneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-502
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Medical Research and Opinion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2005


  • Burden of illness
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Heartburn
  • Italy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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