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Spertus JA, Dewhurst TA, Dougherty CM, Nichol P, McDonell M, Bliven B, Fihn SD. Benefits of an "angina clinic" for patients with coronary artery disease: a demonstration of health status measures as markers of health care quality. American heart journal. 2002 Jan 1; 143(1):145-50.
OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to determine the efficacy of health status measurement in quantifying improvements in quality of care provided by an "angina clinic." STUDY DESIGN: In a pretest-posttest, nonequivalent control group design in the outpatient clinics of a Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 535 patients with coronary disease were followed up, without intervention, for 3 months and were defined as the "usual-care" group. Concurrently, a clinical trial that optimized the antianginal medications of 100 patients with chronic, stable coronary disease was conducted and defined as the "angina clinic" group. The 3-month change in scores for the Seattle Angina Questionnaire, a valid, reliable, and responsive disease-specific health status measure for patients with coronary disease, was used as the main outcome measure. RESULTS: After baseline differences between groups were controlled, the "angina clinic" conferred substantial improvement on patient symptom control (3-month benefit in angina frequency +9.4, P < .001; in angina stability +14.7, P < .001), treatment satisfaction (+8.6, P < .001), quality of life (+6.8, P < .001), and physical limitations resulting from coronary disease (+3.6, P = .047). Only the changes in physical limitation were not clinically significant. CONCLUSION: Disease-specific health status measures can provide valuable insights into the quality of care associated with innovations in health care delivery. These results suggest that patients in a clinical trial optimizing antianginal medications had greater improvements in symptom control, treatment satisfaction, and quality of life compared with similar patients receiving "usual care" in a general medicine clinic.