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Correlating clinical indicators of lower-limb ischaemia with quality of life

By I. C. Chetter, Paul Dolan, J. Spark, D. J. A. Scott and R. C. Kester


The objectives of the study were to analyse the impact of increasing lower-limb ischaemia upon quality of life and to assess the correlation between clinical indicators of lower-limb ischaemia and such quality. A prospective observational study of a consecutive series of 235 patients (144 men and 91 women; median age 68 (range 41-87) years presenting with varying degrees of lower-limb ischaemia graded according to ISCVS criteria was performed. Data was collected at interview before any intervention. Clinical indicators of lower-limb perfusion included: intermittent claudication and maximum walking distance on standardized treadmill testing; ankle:brachial pressure indices and isotope limb blood flow. Quality of life analysis was performed using the EuroQol (EQ) questionnaire. This is a standardized generic instrument for describing health-related quality of life and consists of a descriptive system of five dimensions, each measured on three levels. Thus, a profile and two single indices of quality of life were derived using different methods. Increasing lower-limb ischaemia results in a statistically significant deterioration in both global quality of life and in all EQ-measured quality of life dimensions (P < 0.01 Kruskal-Wallis, ANOVA). The correlation between clinical indicators and quality of life is statistically significant but not sufficiently close (correlation coefficients < 0.6) to assume that variations in clinical indicators result in reciprocal variations in quality of life. In conclusion, as might be expected, a significant correlation exists between clinical indicators of lower-limb ischaemia and health-related quality of life. However, the low correlation coefficients emphasize how tenuous the association is. Thus, a significant improvement in the clinical indicators of lower-limb ischaemia cannot be assumed to impart a similar benefit on quality of life. The latter concept must therefore be analysed independently

Topics: R Medicine (General), RD Surgery
Publisher: Elsevier Science Ltd
Year: 1997
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0967-2109(97)00011-2
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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