Health-related quality of life evaluation in patients with nonsurgical benign tracheal stenosis

Benoit Jacques Bibas, Paulo Francisco Guerreiro Cardoso, Michele Salati, Helio Minamoto, Mauro Federico Luiz Tamagno, Ricardo Mingarini Terra, Paulo Manuel Pêgo-Fernandes


Background: The primary objective of the study was to evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQL) of patients with benign post-intubation tracheal stenosis considered as unfit for surgical treatment. Secondary objectives were: (I) to determine if clinical variables (gender, age, total treatment time, and type of tracheal device) could influence HRQL and (II) to compare the results with a normal standardized population.
Methods: Prospective study between August-2014 and December-2016 including patients with tracheal stenosis treated with silicone stents, T-Tubes or tracheostomy. Candidates to airway resection and reconstruction were excluded from the analysis. HRQL was assessed with the SF-36 Health Questionnaire. Backward stepwise regression model analyzed the influence of clinical variables on the SF-36 domains and component summaries. Norm-based results were compared with normative data. Alpha error was 5%.
Results: Ninety-three patients (62M/31F; mean age 38±14 years) were included. Mean overall HRQL in all 8 SF-36 domains was poor. Lowest scores were in the role physical (mean 31.7±38), bodily pain (mean 39.2±35), and role emotional domain (mean 48.7±40). The physical component summary (PCS) was more affected than the mental (P<0.001). Norm-based results indicated that most domains and both physical and mental summaries were below the mean for the USA normative population. Total stenting time significantly influenced the physical (P=0.001) and mental component summaries (P=0.001).
Conclusions: Quality of life of patients with benign tracheal stenosis is severely impaired, and norm-based results indicate that the HRQL is below normative data. Physical and mental discomfort seems to be attenuated by total treatment time.