Background. We sought to compare change over time (baseline to 2 y) in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between older (60-80 y) patients awaiting heart transplantation (HT) with mechanical circulatory support (MCS) versus without MCS and their caregivers and caregiver burden. Methods. This study was conducted at 13 United States sites. Patient HRQOL was examined using the EuroQol 5-dimensional questionnaire (EQ-5D-3L) and Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire-12 (KCCQ-12). Caregiver measures included the EQ-5D-3L and Oberst Caregiving Burden Scale, measuring time on task and difficulty. Analyses included analysis of variance, χ2, and linear regression. Results. We enrolled 239 HT candidates (n = 118 with MCS and n = 121 without MCS) and 193 caregivers (n = 92 for candidates with MCS and n = 101 for candidates without MCS). Baseline differences in HRQOL were observed between HT candidates with and without MCS: EQ-5D-3L visual analog scale (VAS) score (67.7 ± 17.6 versus 54.1 ± 23.3, P < 0.001) and KCCQ-12 overall summary score (59.9 ± 21.0 versus 48.9 ± 21.6, P < 0.001), respectively. HT candidates with MCS had significantly higher EQ-5D-3L VAS scores and KCCQ-12 overall summary score across time versus without MCS. Baseline EQ-5D-3L VAS scores did not differ significantly between caregivers of HT candidates with and without MCS (84.6 ± 12.9 versus 84.3 ± 14.4, P = 0.9), respectively, nor were there significant between-group differences over time. Caregivers for HT candidates with MCS reported more task difficulty (range: 1 = not difficult to 5 = extremely difficult) versus caregivers for those without MCS at baseline (1.4 ± 0.5 versus 1.2 ± 0.3, P = 0.004) and over time. Conclusions. Understanding differences in HRQOL and caregiver burden among older HT candidates with and without MCS and their caregivers may inform strategies to enhance HRQOL and reduce burden.
ASJC Scopus subject areas