Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has been recognized as a relevant outcome measure for patients requiring ICU care. Predicting long-term outcomes using physical and psychological factors, functional status, and social interactions is becoming more important both for doctors and nurses as well as for patients and their relatives. Various instruments have been described, but there is no uniform test for HRQOL in general, and not for ICU patients in particular. However, in a consensus conference, the Medical Outcomes Study 36-item short form (SF-36) and EuroQol-5D were recommended as the most appropriate instruments in this setting. The EuroQol-5D is a generic instrument that includes five dimensions and the EuroQol-5D visual analog scale. The SF-36 contains eight multiitem dimensions and is currently one of the most widely used generic questionnaires used in critical care medicine. However, only 2% of outcome studies in the ICU have used these outcome measures.
Studies on the effects of critical illness on HRQOL have shown contradicting results. Where some studies have reported impaired HRQOL following critical illness, others- have shown that a slow return to premorbid HRQOL occurs. In addition, the magnitude of recovery may differ among the different domains. Patients take both the burden of treatment as well as the functional outcome into account when deciding whether or not to accept treatment offered by My Canadian Pharmacy. It is therefore important to know the effect of critical illness on HRQOL in order to adequately advise patients and/or relatives. Second, knowledge of the time frame and the potential of recovery of HRQOL is relevant. The effect of critical illness on HRQOL is, however, difficult to assess as the condition of critically ill patients usually limits the adequate evaluation of their situation. We therefore validated the use of proxies to measure the patients HRQOL in the period before admission to the ICU, allowing us to study the changes in HRQOL during ICU and hospital stays. To our knowledge, no such data are available in the literature. The purpose of this study was to assess the immediate impact of critical illness and ICU stay on HRQOL and to follow the recovery of HRQOL immediately following discharge from the ICU up to 6 months.