Medical Decisionmaking

QoL can be a predictor of treatment success and several studies have found that factors such as overall QoL, physical well-being, mood, and pain are of prognostic importance. For example, in cancer patients, pre-treatment assessments of QoL

have been shown to be strongly predictive of survival. On this basis, it is possible to argue, as do Coates et al. (1993), for the routine assessment of QoL in therapy trials.

It is not clear in these circumstances whether QoL scores reflect an early perception by the patient of disease progression, or whether QoL status in some way influences the course of disease. If the former, level of QoL is merely predictive of outcome. If it affects outcome, there could be potential to use improvement in QoL as an active form of therapy. Whatever the nature of the association, these findings underline the importance of evaluating QoL and using it when making medical decisions. Similar results have been observed in various disease areas. For example, Jenkins (1992) observes that preoperative QoL partially predicts the recovery process in heart surgery patients. Changes in QoL scores during treatment have also been shown to have prognostic value.

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Coping with Asthma

Coping with Asthma

If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.

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