Effect of radiofrequency catheter ablation on health-related quality of life and activities of daily living in patients with recurrent arrhythmias

Academic Article


  • Background: Although radiofrequency catheter ablation can be used to effectively treat a variety of arrhythmias, the effects of this procedure on health-related quality of life have not been systematically studied. Methods and Results: The SF-36 (a measure of general health status), the Symptom Checklist Frequency and Severity Scale (an instrument specific for cardiac arrhythmias), and an Activities of Daily Living questionnaire were used to assess quality of life in 161 patients before radiofrequency catheter ablation. These same instruments were used to measure quality of life 1 and 6 months after ablation with complete data in 159 of the original 161 patients. Before ablation, SF-36 scores of the study population were low compared with the US normative data base reflecting significant impairment in physical functioning and well-being. The lowest scores were reported by patients with atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Catheter ablation was associated with significant improvement in quality of life that was sustained over the 6 months after ablation. Improvements were measured in both the generic SF-36 health status questionnaire and the disease specific Symptom Checklist- Frequency and Severity Scale. Catheter ablation was followed by improved performance of activities of daily living and a marked decrease in the number of visits to physicians and emergency rooms in the 6 months after ablation compared with the 6 months before ablation. Conclusions: Radiofrequency catheter ablation improves the health-related quality of life for patients with a variety of cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Circulation  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bubien RS; Knotts-Dolson SM; Plumb VJ; Kay GN
  • Start Page

  • 1585
  • End Page

  • 1591
  • Volume

  • 94
  • Issue

  • 7