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Health-related quality of life in patients with chronic respiratory failure after long-term mechanical ventilation

, : Health-related quality of life in patients with chronic respiratory failure after long-term mechanical ventilation. Respiratory Medicine 100(3): 477-486

This study was aimed at assessing health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with chronic respiratory failure (CRF) and long-term survival following prolonged intensive care mechanical ventilation. Observational cohort study. Patients with CRF who had been transferred to our specialized weaning centre due to prolonged mechanical ventilation (>14 days) and weaning failure. Out of 87 long-term survivors (>6 months), 73 patients (mean age: 60.3+/-13.6 years, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD, 43%), thoraco-restrictive (21%) or neuromuscular disorders (15%), various chronic diseases (22%)) returned the MOS 36-Item Short-Form Health Status Survey (SF-36) and the St. George's respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ). The total ventilation time was 38.7+/-45.9 days. The time between discharge from ICU and HRQL assessment was 31.0+/-22.2 months. Physical health was markedly reduced compared to general population norm, but mental health was mildly impaired. HRQL was comparable to patients with stable CRF receiving non-invasive ventilation who did not need prolonged invasive MV. In addition, general HRQL was better in patients with restrictive respiratory disease compared to patients with neuromuscular diseases (P<0.05). Physiological parameters such as blood gases or lung function parameters were not correlated to any HRQL measurements. In patients with CRF surviving prolonged ventilation on ICU, the presence of CRF itself is the major determinant of HRQL. Here, the underlying cause of CRF is the major factor which determines the degree of HRQL impairment with patients suffering from restrictive ventilatory disorders reporting the best HRQL when compared to patients with COPD or neuromuscular diseases. Despite severe physical handicaps due to CRF mental health is only mildly compromised.


PMID: 16039838

DOI: 10.1016/j.rmed.2005.06.008

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