There is little data on quality of life in patients with chronic anal fissure.
In this study, physicians from England assessed the physical and mental health of fissure patients before and after topical treatment.
The team recruited 54 new patients attending a fissure clinic into the study, over a 2-month period.
Patients completed the Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). They also completed a general questionnaire, which recorded demographics, previous treatment, site and duration of fissure, and symptoms on a visual analogue scale (VAS).
Following an 8-week course of topical treatment, 36 patients repeated the SF-36 and symptoms were again recorded on a VAS.
The team noted the healing of the fissure.
|Healing occurred in 69% of patients.|
The physicians found that the median duration of fissure was 6 months.
They determined that higher VAS ratings for fissure pain were associated with worse scores for all aspects of health-related quality of life.
When compared to matched norms for the SF-36, fissure patients had more bodily pain, and poorer health perceptions.
The team found that gender did not affect any of the SF-36 subscales, however, females reported significantly more bleeding.
On follow-up, healing was complete in 69% of patients.
The team found that symptoms of pain, bleeding and irritation were all significantly reduced in these patients. Furthermore, the repeat SF-36 identified an improvement in bodily pain, role-physical functioning, and vitality.
Dr Griffin's team concluded, "Successful nonsurgical treatment of chronic anal fissure leads to symptomatic improvement and beneficially affects health-related quality of life".