This study was designed to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of patients who had undergone lithotripsy for treatment of urinary stones and to identify factors that significantly affect their HRQOL.
Methods A comparative cross-sectional study was performed at the main university hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. All patients admitted to the urology service for urinary stones fragmentation during a 9-month period were included in the study. An observation period of 3–15 months following the last treatment was allowed before patients completed the QOL questionnaire. Information on socio-demographic, medical characteristics, number and type of lithotripsies were collected. The Medical Outcome Study Short-Form 36-item survey (SF-36) was used to assess HRQoL. For comparison, the HRQoL in an equal number of healthy individuals was investigated; multivariate analysis of variance was used for comparisons between groups.
Results Compared with healthy subjects, lithotripsy patients had significantly higher mean scores in the different subscales of the SF-36 questionnaire such as physical functioning, vitality, role-physical, role-emotional and mental health, indicating a better HRQOL. Compared with patients who underwent ureteroscopic or extracorporeal shock-wave lithotripsies, those who underwent percutaneous lithotripsy had significantly worse mean scores for all the SF-36 scales, except for body pain. Factors impacting HRQOL of the patients were age, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and stone characteristics such as localisation (in the kidney) and recurrence.
Conclusions Post-lithotripsy, patients have a favourable HRQOL compared with healthy volunteers. Further prospective studies are warranted to confirm these results owing to the inherent limitations of the cross-sectional design.
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