With recent advances in the management of chronic liver disease and its complications, the long-term survival in cirrhosis has improved.
Therefore, the number of individuals who will spend a significant proportion of their life with end-stage liver disease may continue to rise.
Thus, more attention to quality of life, and its integration with traditional clinical endpoints is needed.
Recently, there have been many studies looking at treatment outcomes and their impact on the quality of life in patients with end-stage liver disease.
Dr Watt and colleagues from Minnesota, USA summarized and compared the insights gained from these intervention studies.
The team made concise recommendations to further promote and improve quality of life in this patient population.
|Early involvement of palliative care also leads to improved quality of end-of-life care|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
A literature search was conducted using PubMed and Web of Science.
Search terms 'Quality of life', 'Cirrhosis' and 'end-stage liver disease' were used as MeSH terms or searched in the title of the article.
The team found that these studies uniformly show significant improvement in health-related quality of life with management of malnutrition, hepatic encephalopathy and ascites.
The researchers observed that early recognition and management of these complications are keys to better serve our patients.
Early involvement of palliative care also leads to improved quality of end-of-life care.
Dr Watt's team commented, "Complications of cirrhosis including malnutrition, encephalopathy, ascites and variceal bleeding lead to a decrease in health-related quality of life."
"Assessment of health-related quality of life has an important implication for the patient."
"The findings of this review illuminate the importance of using consistent tools to accurately assess quality of life in patients with end-stage liver disease."