Quality of life of survivors of paediatric intensive care

Ambuehl, J., Karrer, A., Meer, A., Riedel, T. and Schibler, A. (2007) Quality of life of survivors of paediatric intensive care. Swiss Medical Weekly, 137 21-22: 312-316.

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Author Ambuehl, J.
Karrer, A.
Meer, A.
Riedel, T.
Schibler, A.
Title Quality of life of survivors of paediatric intensive care
Journal name Swiss Medical Weekly   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1424-7860
Publication date 2007-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 137
Issue 21-22
Start page 312
End page 316
Total pages 5
Place of publication Muttenz, Switzerland
Publisher EMH Schweizerischer Aerzteverlag
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: Measuring outcome in pediatric intensive care is necessary to equate the high cost of treatment with benefits to the patient. Although mortality rates and morbidity are relatively insensitive measures of the benefits of treatment, quality of life measurement gives insight into the long-term outcomes. The aim of this study was to investigate the long-term quality of life outcome of children admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit.
Design: Prospective survey.
Setting: A 13-bed pediatric intensive care unit in a university-affiliated, tertiary referral children's hospital.
Patients: Patients were 432 children discharged from the pediatric intensive care unit between May 1992 and April 1994.
Interventions: Quality of life was measured by using the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children Measure of Function. The scale has two components, the first part completed by the clinician after parent interview and the second part completed separately by the parent.
Measurements and Main Results: Parents of 432 children were contacted between 3 and 24 months after discharge. Twenty-seven children (6.3%) had died after discharge from the pediatric intensive care unit; 59.3% (256) had scores indicating a normal quality of life, and 32.4% (140) had a fair quality of life with ongoing health, social, or cognitive problems requiring some intervention. Two percent of survivors (nine children) had scores indicating a poor quality of life as they had continued to experience significant or disabling health problems requiring hospitalization or the equivalent. Predictors of poor quality of life included presence of comorbidities, increased length of stay, and a diagnostic category of malignancy. Diagnostic categories of respiratory, trauma, and cardiac dysfunction were associated with a better outcome.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that the long-term outcome in terms of quality of life after admission to a pediatric intensive care unit is good or normal for the majority of surviving children. Those children with a poor outcome are likely to have significant comorbidities or a diagnosis of malignancy.
Keyword Paediatric index of mortality
Functional outcome
Intensive care unit
Quality of life
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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