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Open Access Research article

Quality of life before surgical ICU admission

Fernando J Abelha1*, Cristina C Santos2 and Henrique Barros3

Author affiliations

1 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Hospital de São João, Porto, Portugal.

2 Biostatistics and Medical Informatics Department, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Porto, Portugal.

3 Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Porto Medical Scholl, Porto, Portugal.

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Citation and License

BMC Surgery 2007, 7:23  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-7-23

Published: 12 November 2007

Abstract

Background:

Examining the quality of life (QOL) of patients before ICU admission will allow outcome variables to be compared and analyzed in relation to it. The objective of this study was to analyze QOL of patients before admission to a surgical ICU and to study its relationship to outcome and to the baseline characteristics of the patients.

Methods:

All adult patients consecutively admitted to the surgical ICU between November 2004 and April 2005, who underwent non-cardiac surgery, were enrolled in this observational and prospective study. The following patient characteristics were recorded: age, gender, body mass index, ASA physical status, type and magnitude of surgical procedure, length of stay (LOS), in ICU and in hospital, mortality, Simplified Acute Physiology Score II (SAPS), history of co-morbidities and quality of life survey score (QOLSS). The relationships between QOLSS and ICU variables and outcome were evaluated. The relationship between the total QOLSS and each variable or outcome was assessed by multiple linear regression.

Results:

One hundred eighty seven patients completed the study. The preadmission QOLSS of the patients studied was 4.43 ± 4.90; 28% of patients had a normal quality of life (0 points), 38% had between 1 and 5 points (considered mild deterioration), 21% had between 6 and 10 points (moderate deterioration), 10% had between 11 and 15 points (considered major deterioration) and 3% had more than 15 points (severe limitation of quality of life). A worse preadmission QOLSS was associated with higher SAPS II scores, with older patients (age> 65 years) and with ASA physical status (ASA III/IV). Total QOLSS was significantly worse in elderly patients and in patients with co-morbidities and in patients more severely ill at ICU admission. Patients who died in the ICU and in hospital had worse QOLSS scores compared to those who survived. However, no statistical differences in QOLSS were found in relation to longer ICU stays (ICU LOS).

Conclusion:

Preadmission QOL correlates with age and severity of illness. Patients with co-morbidities and those who died during ICU or hospital stay had worse QOLSS scores.