Quality of Life in Patients with a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

Student Author(s)

Pierce Bourgeois

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Susan Dunn

Document Type


Event Date



Heart failure (HF) is a debilitating disease that affects physical functioning and quality of life (QOL). A common procedure to increase QOL is the implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). HF patients are commonly included on the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) score which rates a patient’s functioning status. The purpose of this study was to describe the correlation between a patient’s functional status and their QOL before implantation and 3, 6, and 12 months after implantation in LVAD patients. Dorothy Orem’s Self-Care Deficit Theory was used as the theoretical framework for this study because it focuses on a patient’s self-care ability, which is diminished in HF patients. Data was collected by LVAD coordinators and nurses using the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) before implantation and 3, 6, and 12 months after implantation. Demographic data, INTERMACS score, implantation device, and current status were also collected. This study took place in a large Michigan transplant clinic and had 127 participants. Analysis of data was completed using SPSS statistical software. Results show an increase of QOL from pre-implantation to 6 months after implantation. There is no statistical evidence of a correlation between a patients physical functioning and QOL, therapy, or gender. Limitations to this study included the small number of females in the study, one-site convenience sampling, and missing KCCQ forms. Nurses in the future can identify populations that are more likely to have a lower quality of life resulting from HF and assist them in improving QOL.


This research was supported by the Spectrum Health Transplant Team.

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