Health-Related Quality of Life of Chemical Warfare Victims: An Assessment with the Use of a Specific Tool




Background: Exposure to chemical warfare gases significantly changes the quality of life (QoL) of victims and has significant chronic adverse effects. Objective: This study sought to assess the health-related QoL (HRQoL) of chemical victims by means of a tool specifically designed for this purpose. The correlation of their QoL with several demographic factors was evaluated as well. Patients and Methods: In this descriptive cross-sectional study, 120 chemical warfare victims were selected from subjects presenting to selected medical centers in Tehran in 2012 using convenience sampling. Two questionnaires of demographic information and HRQoL of chemical warfare victims (specific tool) were used for data collection. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 software (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA). Results: The mean and standard deviation (mean ± SD) of scores obtained by chemical warfare victims in physical, psychosocial and spiritual domains was 39.6 ± 16.5, 42.1 ± 15.2 and 82.4 ± 15.4, respectively. Different age groups showed a significant difference in the psychosocial domain score (P < 0.01). Also, the physical and spiritual domain scores had significant differences with respect to the level of education (P < 0.001). The occupational status showed significant differences in the psychosocial and spiritual domains scores of QoL (P < 0.001). The physical and psychosocial domain scores also accounted for a significant difference with respect to the duration and severity of pulmonary symptoms (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Considering the importance and high value of spirituality in chemical warfare victims, it can be used as strategically for these patients to help them cope with their injury and improve their physical and psychosocial health and QoL.