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|Title:||Quality of life after a critical illness: a review of the literature 1998-2003|
|Authors:||Adamson, Harriet Caroline|
|Keywords:||quality of life;health related quality of life;outcomes;intensive care;critical illness|
|Publisher:||University of Sydney. Nursing|
|Abstract:||Until recently, long-term effects of a critical illness (CI) have received little attention from intensive care staff, who have traditionally measured outcome from an intensive care unit (ICU) by morbidity and mortality. However, it is now acknowledged that CI is a continuum that begins before ICU and continues to impact on a patient's quality of life after they have been discharged home. Measuring health related quality of life (HRQOL) is a complex matter due to its multifaceted, subjective and dynamic nature. There has been a lack of consensus in the literature regarding the most appropriate methodological approaches and measuring instruments to use. This disparity has impeded comparison between studies. The aim of this thesis was to review the literature between January 1998 and December 2003 that focused on HRQOL for patients after a CI to identify and summarise themes and key outcomes. There were two main areas of focus - the methods used to measure the effects of the CI, and evaluation of the patient outcomes. An electronic search for relevant articles was conducted using the common clinical research databases and key words such as health related quality of life, outcomes and critical illness. Reference lists from these articles and conference proceedings were reviewed to identify further studies. There were 74 primary papers identified that reflected a number of subcategories including general ICU, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), and elderly patients. There were four categories of instruments used in the literature including those that measured acuity of illness, physical functioning, psychological functioning and HRQOL. The majority of studies used more than one measuring instrument, most of which had been previously validated. Results from the studies were diverse, but it is apparent that physical and psychological recovery from a CI may be a slow and varied process. Most studies were observational; only one randomised control study examined the benefits of a physical exercise program for patients post-hospital discharge. In general, there was no evidence of how to translate the study findings into some form of structured program to assist the patient with any identified problems. To enhance continuum of care, integration of ICU, hospital and rehabilitation services could target identified physical and psychological problems to assist patient recovery. However, strong evidence on the benefits of initiatives such as inpatient follow-up, outpatient clinics and use of ICU diaries is yet to be demonstrated.|
|Rights and Permissions:||Copyright Adamson, Harriet Caroline;http://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html|
|Appears in Collections:||Sydney Digital Theses (Open Access)|
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