Persistence of impaired health status of Q fever patients 4 years after the first Dutch outbreak
until further notice
SourceEpidemiology and Infection, 144, 6, (2016), pp. 1142-1147
Article / Letter to editor
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Epidemiology and Infection
SubjectRadboudumc 18: Healthcare improvement science RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 5: Inflammatory diseases RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
A significant proportion of Q fever patients from the first Dutch Q fever outbreak in 2007 showed impairment in health status up to 1 year after infection. Interested in whether this decrease in health status persisted, we set out to determine the health status in the same cohort of patients, 4 years after primary infection and to compare health status scores at the individual patient level between 1 and 4 years follow-up. Health status was assessed with the Nijmegen Clinical Screening Instrument (NCSI). Patients were serologically tested to exclude patients with possible, probable or proven chronic Q fever. Results on the NCSI sub-domains at group level [2008 (n = 54) and 2011 (n = 46)] showed a persistent significant percentage of patients exhibiting clinically relevant ('severe') scores for all NCSI sub-domains. After 4 years, undue fatigue was present in 46% and exactly half of all patients experienced a severely impaired general quality of life. Patients with NCSI scores available in both 2008 and 2011 (n = 37) showed no difference in all sub-domain scores, except for a small decrease in dyspnoea emotions in 2011. In this group, a significant proportion of patients either improved or worsened in one or more sub-domains of health status. We conclude that at the group level, health status of Q fever patients remained impaired 4 years after primary infection. At the individual patient level, health status may change.
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