Long-term recovery following critical illness in an Australian cohort

AuthorsHaines, K.J.
Berney, S.
Warrillow, S.
Denehy, L.
TypeJournal Article (Original Research)
JournalJournal of Intensive Care
PubMed ID29445502
Year of Publication2018
Download 40560_2018_Article_276.pdf (611.6 KB)
AbstractBACKGROUND: Almost all data on 5-year outcomes for critical care survivors come from North America and Europe. The aim of this study was to investigate long-term mortality, physical function, psychological outcomes and health-related quality of life in a mixed intensive care unit cohort in Australia. METHODS: This longitudinal study evaluated 4- to 5-year outcomes. Physical function (six-minute walk test) and health-related quality of life (Short Form 36 Version 2) were compared to 1-year outcomes and population norms. New psychological data (Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression, Impact of Events Scale) was collected at follow-up. RESULTS: Of the 150 participants, 66 (44%) patients were deceased by follow-up. Fifty-six survivors were included with a mean (SD) age of 64 (14.2). Survivors' mean (SD) six-minute walk distance increased between 1 and 4 to 5 years (465.8 m (148.9) vs. 507.5 m (118.2)) (mean difference = − 24.5 m, CI − 58.3, 9.2, p = 0.15). Depressive symptoms were low: median (IQR) score of 7.0 (1.0-15.0). The mean level of post-traumatic stress symptoms was low—median (IQR) score of 1.0 (0-11.0)—with only 9 (16%) above the threshold for potentially disordered symptoms. Short-Form 36 Physical and Mental Component Scores did not change between 1 and 4 to 5 years (46.4 (7.9) vs. 46.7 (8.1) and 48.8 (13) vs. 48.8 (11.1)) and were within a standard deviation of normal. CONCLUSIONS: Outcomes of critical illness are not uniform across nations. Mortality was increased in this cohort; however, survivors achieved a high level of recovery for physical function and health-related quality of life with low psychological morbidity at follow-up. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12605000776606. ELECTRONIC SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIAL: The online version of this article (10.1186/s40560-018-0276-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


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