Gastroparesis: Quality of Life and Health Care Utilization
AbstractBackground and Aims:
Gastroparesis (GP) patients suffer from recurrent symptoms of nausea, vomiting, early satiety, and abdominal pain. The impact of GP on quality of life (QoL), health care utilization and daily activities is not well understood.Materials and Methods:
Part 1: 398 adult patients (≥18 y) with documented GP (symptoms >6 mo) were surveyed to assess QoL and pain using the Short Form 36 and McGill pain questionnaires. Part 2: 491 adult GP patients were surveyed to evaluate employment status, work and daily activities, medication use, physician visits, diagnostic testing, emergency room visits, and hospitalizations related to their GP symptoms. Both protocols received Institutional Review Board approval.Results:
Part 1: 250 fully evaluable surveys were returned (63%). The mean age was 46.8 years (range, 18 to 84 y); 78% were women. Mean Short Form 36 scores for mental health (56.9) and social functioning (68.1) were analogous to scores for patients with serious chronic medical disorders and depression. Pain scores were lower in patients with idiopathic GP compared with diabetic GP. Part 2: 228 evaluable surveys were analyzed (58.3% response rate). The mean age was 49.6 (19 to 86 y); 77.2% were women. GP symptoms reduced daily activities in 67.5% and lowered annual income in 28.5%. In total, 11% were disabled due to GP symptoms.Conclusions:
GP reduces patients’ QoL and places a significant financial burden on the health care system. Treatment strategies for GP patients should be broad based and incorporate pain management, psychological evaluation and management, and strategies to improve overall well-being with a return to work and daily activities.