Background: Lymphedema may affect patients' health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and thus a disease-specific questionnaire is needed. The Lymphedema Quality of life Inventory (LyQLI) has been tested for reliability and validity. The purpose of this study was to test the LyQLI for responsiveness and sensitivity. Methods and Results: The study participants were patients with lymphedema in the upper or lower limb, attending a Swedish rehabilitation program (RP) and undergoing conservative treatment without surgery (RP-sample), or undergoing liposuction (LS) in Australia, Scotland, and Sweden (LS-sample). Mean values for the three LyQLI domains (physical, psychosocial, and practical) were calculated before and 1 month after intervention, and the paired t-Test was used to detect group differences. Responsiveness was calculated using standardized response mean (SRM), and sensitivity was analyzed with box plots and an independent t-Test to detect group differences. Eighteen patients in the RP-sample and 50 in the LS-sample were studied, and both samples demonstrated increased HRQoL after intervention. The changes were significant in all domains, except for the practical domain in the RP-sample. The SRM for the three LyQLI domains (physical, psychosocial, and practical) were 0.8, 0.8, and 0.4, respectively, in the RP-sample and 0.7, 1.2, and 0.9 in the LS-sample. Statistical testing indicated that the LyQLI was sensitive enough to reveal differences between patient groups. Conclusions: LyQLI responsiveness and sensitivity indicated that the tool can be used to evaluate patients undergoing conservative or surgical lymphedema treatments.
- health-related quality of life