Family and leisure pursuits top quality of life indicators

by mary O’Connor

Family and leisure pursuits topped the list of quality of life indicators in a recent study carried out among heart patients.

Health, however, did not rate in the top five in the research which was carried out by a NUI Galway graduate Emily Basquille.

The findings show that 45 per cent of participants did not rate health in the first five of their chosen quality of life barometers. They selected family, leisure pursuits, and social aspects of life instead.

The study, which was a collaboration between local heart and stroke charity Croí, NUI Galway, and Professor Dympna Waldron of Galway University Hospital, was the first subjective Quality of Life measure tested on a cardiac population in Ireland.

It highlighted the fact that symptoms, such as sudden tiredness and grogginess, interfered significantly with the participants’ quality of life.

The study found a negative correlation between symptom interference and quality of life with high levels of symptom interference associated with low levels of quality of life.

Croi’s chief executive, Neil Johnson said Ms Basquille’s research with the Croí Cardiac Support Group gave interesting insights, “reinforcing our goal of putting the patient first in cardiovascular healthcare”.

Ms Basquille’s outlined that the results “really highlight” the importance of putting a patient’s perspectives and needs first, emphasising the value of taking into account a person’s quality of life cues when creating a personalised treatment plan.

Her award-winning Mayo study has been accepted for presentation at the International Palliative Care Network Conference, which runs online from November 15 to December 15.

Her research received a ribbon award in May at the 10th World Research Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Bern, Switzerland.

She attended the congress with support from Marie MacCabe, the principal of St Joseph’s Secondary School in Castlebar, where Emily works as a special needs assistant.

Her presentation at the upcoming International Palliative Care Network Poster Exhibition can be accessed at www.palliativecarenetwork.com by registering for a free account.

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