Uterine fibroids: a review of health-related quality of life assessment
OBJECTIVE: To summarize the literature describing the impact of uterine fibroids on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), the measures used to assess HRQOL, and related areas for future research. METHODS: A search of three electronic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, and Current Contents) was performed, and 40 papers were identified referencing leiomyoma or uterine fibroids and (health-related) quality of life (HRQOL). Studies including women with benign gynecological conditions other than uterine fibroids were also reviewed. RESULTS: The EQ-5D, SF-36, and related generic measures are used to assess HRQOL in women with diverse gynecological conditions, including uterine fibroids. The UFS-QOL, a condition- specific measure, provides scores on symptom severity and six HRQOL dimensions. All instruments consistently demonstrate that HRQOL is considerably impaired in women with symptomatic uterine fibroids and that appropriate treatment can lead to improved QOL. CONCLUSIONS: The published data on HRQOL associated with uterine fibroids report significantly lower HRQOL scores for women with fibroids than for women without this disorder. Additional research is needed to confirm these findings and provide greater detail describing the specific domains most affected by uterine fibroids. These advances are necessary to effectively compare new treatment modalities vs. standard invasive therapies, such as hysterectomy.