The purpose of this study was to examine (1) changes in quality of life (QoL) within 1 year after presentation with transient loss of consciousness (TLOC) and (2) which factors are predictive of these changes. This study was part of the Fainting Assessment Study (FAST), which assessed diagnostic strategies in patients with TLOC. Adult patients presenting to Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with TLOC were included in the study. QoL was assessed with the generic Short Form 36 and the disease-specific Syncope Functional Status Questionnaire at presentation and 1 year of follow-up. Of 468 included patients, 82% completed questionnaires at presentation and 72% after 1-year follow-up. QoL improved on 7 of 8 subscales of the Short Form 36 and on all summary scales of the Syncope Functional Status Questionnaire. Older age, recurrence, higher level of co-morbidity, and a neurologic or psychogenic diagnosis were predictive of poorer QoL. In conclusion, QoL in patients with TLOC improves significantly over time. Physicians should particularly pay attention to patients who are older, have recurrent episodes, a neurologic or psychogenic diagnosis, and a higher level of co-morbidity because these patients are vulnerable to a relatively poorer QoL.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was financially supported by Grant NHS 99/181 from the Netherlands Heart Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands, and an unrestricted educational grant from Medtronic, Inc., Heerlen, The Netherlands.