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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Health-related quality of life following ambulatory surgery procedures: assessment by RAND-36

Kristiina Mattila1*, Merja Lahtela2 and Markku Hynynen1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital, Espoo, Finland

2 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, Lappland Central Hospital, Rovaniemi, Finland

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BMC Anesthesiology 2012, 12:30  doi:10.1186/1471-2253-12-30

Published: 5 December 2012



Increasing numbers of elective surgical procedures are performed as day-cases. The impact of ambulatory surgery on health-related quality of life in the recovery period has seldom been described.


We assessed health-related quality of life in 143 adult outpatients scheduled for arthroscopic procedures of the knee and shoulder joints, laparoscopic cholecystectomy and inguinal hernia repair using the RAND 36-Item Health Survey preoperatively and one week after patients had returned to work or comparable normal daily routines.


Postoperatively all patient groups reported significant improvements in bodily pain and vitality. Physical functioning improved significantly in orthopedic and inguinal hernia patients. However, in the orthopedic groups, postoperative scores for physical health were still relatively lower compared to the general population reference values.


Ambulatory surgery has a positive impact on health-related quality of life. Assessment of the recovery process is necessary for recognition of potential areas of improvement in care and postoperative rehabilitation.

Quality of life; Outcome; Ambulatory surgery procedures; RAND-36