Few studies have evaluated the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of Southern Chinese with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection.
To evaluate the HRQOL of Chinese patients at different stages of CHB infection and to find out factors associated with HRQOL.
520 Chinese adult CHB patients of whom 156 were uncomplicated, 102 had impaired liver function, 139 had cirrhosis and 123 had hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were interviewed with a structured questionnaire, the SF-36 Health Survey version 2 (SF-36v2), and the Chronic Liver Disease Questionnaire (CLDQ). The differences in SF-6D health preference values and SF-36v2 scores between each CHB group and Hong Kong population norms were assessed by t-test. ANOVA was used to compare the mean SF-6D health preference, SF-36v2 scores, and CLDQ scores among CHB groups. Multiple linear regressions were performed to identify determinants of HRQOL.
CHB patients had significantly lower SF-36v2 scores than the population norm. The SF-6D values of CHB patients with uncomplicated disease, impaired liver function, HCC and cirrhosis were 0.755, 0.745, 0.720 and 0.701, respectively, all significantly lower than the population norm of 0.787. Advanced stage of CHB illness, anti-viral treatment, bilirubin level, psychological co-morbidity, younger age and female were associated with poorer HRQOL.
CHB infection had a negative impact on HRQOL. There was a progressive decrease in health preference values with CHB disease progression. The results can be used for the estimation of quality adjusted life years (QALYs) for CHB patients in cost effectiveness or cost utility studies.