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Quality of life 4 months after ICU discharge


Assessment of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) using the Short Form-36 (SF-36) has been recommended and used in the ICU, particularly in subpopulations of ICU survivors [1]. We assessed the HRQOL of general ICU survivors at 4 months post discharge and investigated any correlation with age, illness severity and hospital or ICU length of stay (LOS).


Following ethical approval, from November 2004 to October 2005 all adult patients admitted for level 3 care for longer than 48 hours to a 16-bed university hospital general ICU were identified. Those surviving to 4 months post ICU discharge were sent a questionnaire that included the SF-36 to complete. Standard outcome and demographic data were also collected.


Eighty-six questionnaires were returned, 65 allowed calculation of mental and physical summary components. Results were compared (t test) between the lower 50% and higher 50% of patients for each discriminator (P < 0.05 = significant). See Table 1.

Table 1 (abstract P507)


At 4 months after ICU discharge, the more elderly have significantly higher psychological HRQOL as compared with younger patients. Prolonged hospital LOS is associated with a persisting significant reduction in the physical domains of HRQOL.


  1. Angus DC, Carlet J: Surviving intensive care: a report from the 2002 Brussels Roundtable. Intensive Care Med 2003, 29: 368-377.

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Baldwin, F., Boyd, O. & Hinge, D. Quality of life 4 months after ICU discharge. Crit Care 12 (Suppl 2), P507 (2008).

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