Pain and Functional Status in Patients With Ventricular Assist Devices

Himali Weerahandi, Nathan Goldstein, Laura P. Gelfman, Ulrich Jorde, James N. Kirkpatrick, Judith Marble, Yoshifumi Naka, Sean Pinney, Mark S. Slaughter, Emilia Bagiella, Deborah D. Ascheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Context Ventricular assist devices (VADs) have been shown to improve survival and overall quality of life, but there are limited data on pain control and functional status in this patient population. Objectives This study examined changes in pain, functional status, and quality of life over time in VAD patients. Methods Patients were enrolled in this prospective cohort study before or as early after VAD implant as possible and then followed for up to 48 weeks. The Brief Pain Inventory was used to assess pain. The Katz Independent Activities of Daily Living questionnaire was used to assess functional status. The Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire, a 23-item questionnaire covering five domains (physical function, symptoms, social function, self-efficacy, and quality of life), was used to assess quality of life and health status. Results Eighty-seven patients were enrolled at four medical centers. The median Brief Pain Inventory severity score was 2.8 (interquartile range 0.5–5.0) before implantation and 0.0 (interquartile range 0.0–5.3) 48 weeks after implantation (P = 0.0009). Katz Independent Activities of Daily Living summary scores also demonstrated significant improvement over time (P < 0.0001). Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire summary scales demonstrated significant improvement with time (P < 0.0016). Conclusion This study demonstrated that patients with VADs experienced improved pain, functional status, and quality of life over time. These data may be useful to help patients make decisions when they are considering undergoing VAD implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-490.e1
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Heart failure
  • functional status
  • pain
  • quality of life
  • ventricular assist device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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