Article

Health-related quality of life in older patients surviving ICU treatment for COVID-19: results from an international observational study of patients older than 70 years

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  • Viborg Regional Hospital
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Abstract

Background: health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important patient-centred outcome in patients surviving ICU admission for COVID-19. It is currently not clear which domains of the HRQoL are most affected. Objective: to quantify HRQoL in order to identify areas of interventions. Design: prospective observation study. Setting: admissions to European ICUs between March 2020 and February 2021. Subjects: patients aged 70 years or older admitted with COVID-19 disease. Methods: collected determinants include SOFA-score, Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), number and timing of ICU procedures and limitation of care, Katz Activities of Daily Living (ADL) dependence score. HRQoL was assessed at 3 months after ICU admission with the Euro-QoL-5D-5L questionnaire. An outcome of ≥4 on any of Euro-QoL-5D-5L domains was considered unfavourable. Results: in total 3,140 patients from 14 European countries were included in this study. Three months after inclusion, 1,224 patients (39.0%) were alive and the EQ-5D-5L from was obtained. The CFS was associated with an increased odds ratio for an unfavourable HRQoL outcome after 3 months; OR 1.15 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.71-1.87) for CFS 2 to OR 4.33 (95% CI: 1.57-11.9) for CFS ≧ 7. The Katz ADL was not statistically significantly associated with HRQoL after 3 months. Conclusions: in critically ill old intensive care patients suffering from COVID-19, the CFS is associated with the subjectively perceived quality of life. The CFS on admission can be used to inform patients and relatives on the risk of an unfavourable qualitative outcome if such patients survive.

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Background Survivors of severe COVID-19 are at risk of impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and persistent physical and psychological disability after ICU and hospital discharge. The subsequent social burden is a major concern. We aimed to assess the short-term HRQoL, physical function and prevalence of post-traumatic stress symptoms of invasively mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients treated in our ICU. Methods Prospective, observational cohort study in a follow-up clinic. Patients completed a 6-min walking test (6MWT) to assess their cardio-pulmonary function around 2 months (early follow-up) from hospital discharge, the EQ-5D-5L questionnaire for quality of life assessment around 2 months and at 6 months from hospital discharge and an anonymous web-based Impact of Event Scale-Revised (IES-R) questionnaire for Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms at 2 months. Results 47 patients attended our follow-up program, mean age 59 ± 10 years, median pre-morbid Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) 2 [2–3]. The median distance walked in 6 min was 470 [406–516] m, 83 [67–99]% of the predicted value. Overall 1 out 3 patients and 4/18 (22%) among those with a good functional baseline prior to COVID-19 (CFS of 1 or 2) had lower (84%) than predicted 6MWT. EQ-5D-5L quality of life VAS was 80 [70–90] out of 100 at early follow-up with a slight improvement to 85 [77.5–90] at 6 months. Mobility, self-care and usual activities improved between the two timepoints, while pain/discomfort and depression/anxiety did not improve or got worse. The IES-R total score was greater than the threshold for concern of 1.6 in 27/41(66%) respondents. Conclusions Patients recovering from severe COVID-19 requiring invasive mechanical ventilation surviving hospital discharge present with early mild to moderate functional impairment, mildly reduced quality of life from hospital discharge with an overall improvement of mobility, self-care and the ability of performing usual activities, while a worsening of pain and depression/anxiety symptoms at 6 months and a large proportion of symptoms of post-traumatic distress soon after hospital discharge.
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