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Health-related quality of life in intensive care survivors: Associations with social support, comorbidity, and pain interference

Anne Kathrine Langerud, Tone Rustøen, Milada Cvancarova Småstuen, Ulf Kongsgaard, Audun Stubhaug
PloS One 2018, 13 (6): e0199656
29940026

BACKGROUND: Experiences during a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU), including pain, delirium, physical deterioration, and the critical illness itself, may all influence survivors' health-related quality of life (HRQOL). However, few studies have examined the influence of social support, comorbidity, and pain interference on ICU survivors' HRQOL.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate possible associations between social support, number of comorbidities, and pain interference on HRQOL in ICU survivors.

METHODS: ICU survivors responded to a survey 3 months (n = 118) and 1 year (n = 89) after ICU discharge. HRQOL was measured using the Short Form Health Survey-12 (v1), social support using the revised Social Provision Scale, pain interference using the Brief Pain Inventory-Short Form, and comorbidities using the Self-Administered Comorbidity Questionnaire.

RESULTS: Physical and mental HRQOL were reduced at both 3 months and 1 year in ICU survivors compared with the general population. This reduction was more pronounced at 3 months for physical HRQOL, while a small reduction in mental HRQOL was not clinically relevant. Social support was statistical significantly positively associated with mental HRQOL at 3 months, while number of comorbidities was statistical significantly associated with a reduction in physical HRQOL at 3 months and 1 year and mental HRQOL at 1 year. Lastly pain interference was significantly associated with a reduction in physical HRQOL at 3 months and 1 year.

CONCLUSIONS: ICU survivors primarily report reduced physical HRQOL. Social support was positively associated with mental HRQOL, while number of comorbidities, and pain interference were all significantly associated with a reduction in HRQOL. Pain interference was associated with the largest reduction in HRQOL.

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