Objective: The objective was to assess the impact of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) on the quality of life of women attending a patient-centred, nurse-led endocrine clinic, and to investigate changes in quality of life over time.
Method: Women attending the clinic, for management of PCOS, completed the PCOSQ (Cronin et al. 1998) at their first appointment. The PCOSQ is the only validated quality of life measure specifically focused on PCOS. It assesses five domains, scored from 17, with lower scores indicating a greater adverse effect on quality of life. As part of an audit, N=14 women (weight range 59.9 137 kg, mean 100.55 kg) were identified within the clinic database who had completed the PCOSQ again after at least 12 months of follow-up appointments.
Results: At baseline, the symptom domains with greatest adverse impact on quality of life were (in descending order): weight (mean score =2.36), emotions (3.47), body hair (4.02), infertility (4.16) and menstrual problems (4.17). (A score of less than 5 for any domain indicates significant adverse impact). Analysis at follow-up showed positive changes in PCOSQ scores for all domains: weight (+1.33*), body hair (+0.89**), emotions (+0.77*), menstrual problems (+0.55*) and infertility (+0.23). *Cronin et al suggest that a change ≧+0.5 is likely indicate an important difference in womens daily lives. **Paired t test indicated that the change in quality of life for the body hair domain was statistically significant (P=0.018).
Conclusions: This small cohort of patients showed improvements in quality of life over time, which are likely to be clinically significant. This suggests that the clinic may be effective. The audit sample size was small, as only a limited number of patients have been followed up for more than a year, and some women with improved symptoms have been discharged or ceased to attend. Further evaluation is required.