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The role of memories on health-related quality of life after intensive care unit care: an unforgettable controversy?

Authors Orvelius L, Teixeira-Pinto A, Lobo C, Costa-Pereira A, Granja C

Received 29 May 2015

Accepted for publication 12 January 2016

Published 4 June 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 63—71


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Robert Howland

Lotti Orwelius,1-4 Armando Teixeira-Pinto,2,5 Cristina Lobo,2 Altamiro Costa-Pereira,1,2 Cristina Granja,1,2,6,7

1Department of Health Information and Decision Sciences, Faculty of Medicine of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 2CINTESIS – Centre for Research in Health Technologies and Health Systems, Faculty of Medicine of Porto, Porto, Portugal; 3Department of Intensive Care, Linköping University, County Council of Östergötland, Linköping, Sweden; 4Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; 5Screening and Test Evaluation Program, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 6Department of Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, Algarve Hospital Centre, Algarve, Portugal; 7Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine, University of Algarve, Algarve, Portugal

Background: Decreased health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is a significant problem after an intensive care stay and is affected by several known factors such as age, sex, and previous health-state. The objective of this study was to assess the association between memory and self-reported perceived HRQoL of patients discharged from the intensive care unit (ICU).
Methods: A prospective, multicenter study involving nine general ICUs in Portugal. All adult patients with a length of stay >48 hours were invited to participate in a 6-month follow-up after ICU discharge by answering a set of structured questionnaires, including EuroQol 5-Dimensions and ICU memory tool.
Results: A total of 313 (52% of the eligible) patients agreed to enter the study. The median age of patients was 60 years old, 58% were males, the median Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS II) was 38, and the median length of stay was 8 days for ICU and 21 days for total hospital stay. Eighty-nine percent (n=276) of the admissions were emergencies. Seventy-eight percent (n=234) of the patients had memories associated with the ICU stay. Patients with no memories had 2.1 higher chances (P=0.011) of being in the bottom half of the HRQoL score (<0.5 EuroQol 5-Dimensions index score). Even after adjusting for pre-admission characteristics, having memories was associated with higher perceived HRQoL (adjusted odds ratio =2.1, P=0.022).
Conclusion: This study suggests that most of the ICU survivors have memories of their ICU stay. For the ICU survivors, having memories of the ICU stay is associated with a higher perceived HRQoL 6 months after ICU discharge.

Keywords: health-related quality of life, memory disturbances, critical care, outcome

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