OBJECTIVE: To assess the quality of life of patients with refractory heart failure disease as candidates for heart transplant. METHODS: A transversal, descriptive and prospective study with 18 adult patients, with mean age of 52 years under pre-transplantation outpatient follow-up at educational and public hospital in São Paulo town. The quality of life was assessed by reference to "The Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short-Form Health Survey" (SF-36) generic questionnaire in order to assess the aspects in relation to the function, dysfunction, physical and emotional uneasiness. RESULTS: According to this group, 14 (77.8%) of these patients were male and four (22.2%) female; 14 (77.8%) of them were classified as functional class IV and four (22.2%) as functional class III (New York Heart Association); 17 (94.4%) of them were at stage D and one (5.6%) at stage C (American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology). The mean results obtained from the assessment of SF-36 scales were: functional capacity 38%, pain 49%, health general condition 49%, vitality 39%, social aspects 53%, emotional aspects 43% and mental health 54%. CONCLUSION: The quality of life of patients presenting terminal heart failure is considered to be very bad; it is likely to be worse than in many other more common morbid entities. Both mental and social aspects are least affected, on the other hand the vitality and functional capacity are the most affected.
Quality of life; Sickness impact profile; Cardiac failure; Heart transplantation