Gender differences in quality of life in coronary artery bypass graft patients at one, three, and six months




Luquire, Rosemary

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Annually, 550,000 people die of coronary artery disease with females representing 45% of this population. However, in spite of documented evidence regarding the health of the female population, particularly the more severely in female coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) population, most studies on quality of life (QOL) in CABG patients have focused on males. The purpose of this study was to determine if gender differences exist in QOL in postoperative CABG patients.

A prospective repeated measures longitudinal design was utilized to examine gender differences using a consecutive sampling method. QOL was measured using the Ferrans & Powers Quality of Life Index (QLI) (r .95). The QLI and a demographic questionnaire was mailed to 185 CABG patients (109 males, 76 females) from three hospitals at one month postoperatively. Questionnaires were mailed at three and six months postoperatively to respondents; 80 males and 49 females completed the study.

Demographic data analysis indicated that the female cohort was slightly older than the male cohort (63.8 years versus 62.7 years respectively). The majority of subjects were widowed (67%) and Caucasian (94%). Females more frequently reported severe cardiac symptomatology than males and reported an inadequate income more frequently than did males.

A split plot factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) using a multivariate approach yielded no significant differences between genders in QLI scores over time (F(1,127)=.05, p=.829) although QLI scores were different within subjects over time (F(2,126)=5.95, p=.003). A comparison of means indicated that QLI scores were significantly higher at three months than at one month (F=11.97, p=.001) and also higher at six months than at one month (F=5.37, p=.02). Significant inverse relationships between QLI scores and cardiac symptomatology measured by New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification were revealed at one month (r\sbs=−.2629, p=.000), three months (r\sbs=−.2049, p=.005), and six months (r\sbs=−.2205, p=.006) indicating that worsening symptomatology negatively impacts QOL. Nurses are encouraged to educate patients regarding expected changes in QOL over the recovery process and assist patients in the aggressive management of cardiac symptomatology.



Surgery, Gerontology, Gender differences, Quality of life, Bypass, Coronary vessels