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Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure (PRISM): A Novel Visual Instrument to Quantify Suffering in Liver Cirrhosis Patients and Liver Transplant Recipients
BACKGROUND: The level of suffering of chronically ill patients does not necessarily correlate with illness severity. In this study, we evaluated the burden of suffering and its impact on health-related quality of life in liver transplant recipients and liver cirrhosis patients. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The Pictorial Representation of Illness and Self Measure (PRISM) was used to explore levels of suffering in outpatients of Münster University Hospital, Germany. Self-illness separation scores were analyzed as a measure of disease-specific burden of suffering. Health-related quality of life was measured using the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). RESULTS: Data from 201 subjects were statistically analyzed. Median Self-illness separation scores for liver transplant recipients and patients with liver cirrhosis were 13.5 (minimum/maximum: 0.2/25.6) cm and 6.3 (0.1/25.6) cm (p<0.001), respectively. The median SF-36 Mental Component Summary and Physical Component Summary scores were 46.4 (12.5/66.2) and 40.1 (12.3/61.1), respectively. Higher health-related quality of life was associated with greater self–illness separation. Liver transplant recipients showed normal Mental Component Summary scores compared with the general German population; patients with liver cirrhosis had significantly lower Mental Component Summary scores. Physical Component Summary scores were significantly higher in liver transplant recipients than in patients with liver cirrhosis, but still lower than in the general population. CONCLUSIONS: PRISM is a novel, simple tool for measuring the illness burden in liver transplant recipients and patients with liver cirrhosis. This measure may help to identify patients at a higher risk of psychological disorders.