Quality of life at three months following admission to intensive and coronary care units.Clin Intensive Care. 1994; 5(6):276-81.CI
Measurement of quality of life three months following critical illness, to assess impact on health expectations.
Continuous quantitative study of patients admitted to a combined intensive and coronary care unit during a nine-month period. Questionnaires giving baseline information were completed soon after admission, and postal questionnaires incorporating the Nottingham Health Profile were sent to surviving patients three months following discharge from the unit.
District General Hospital.
ICU sample included 60 patients, male n = 31, female n = 29. Twenty-nine patients received surgical treatment, 31 patients received medical treatment. Coronary Care Unit (CCU) sample included 112 patients, male n = 74, female n = 38. Fifty-four patients admitted following acute myocardial infarction (MI), 58 patients non-MI admission.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
Hospital mortality for ICU patients was 31%, increasing to 34% at three months. Hospital mortality for CCU patients was 14%, increasing to 19% at three months. Significant differences in mean NHP scores between ICU and CCU patients were noted with higher CCU scores in the areas of sleep (p = 0.04), and social isolation (p = 0.01). Within the ICU group surgical patients had a higher mean NHP score in the area of pain (p = 0.02). There were no significant differences in the scores of male and female ICU patients. Within the CCU group non-MI patients had significantly higher mean scores than MI patients in the areas of energy (p = 0.007), pain (p = 0.04), emotion (p = 0.05), social isolation (p = 0.01) and physical ability (p = 0.003). Female CCU patients had higher mean NHP scores than male patients with significant differences in the areas of pain (p = 0.04), sleep (p = 0.009) and physical ability (p = 0.006).
ICU patient quality of life three months after admission compares favourably with a corresponding group of CCU patients, particularly in areas of sleep and social isolation. CCU patients' general functional status deteriorated significantly compared to their pre-admission status. Critical illness is a costly area of medicine, but the results suggest that outcomes are beneficial in terms of quality of life for those surviving acute illness.