OBJECTIVE: To describe the long-term functioning of patients who survived a COVID-19-related admission to the intensive care unit and their family members, in the physical, social, mental and spiritual domain.
DESIGN: A single-centre, prospective cohort study with a mixed-methods design.
SETTING: The intensive care unit of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To study functioning 12 months after intensive care discharge several measurements were used, including a standardised list of physical problems, the Clinical Frailty Scale, the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey, the McMaster Family Assessment Device, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the Spiritual Needs Questionnaire, as well as open questions and interviews with survivors and their family members.
RESULTS: A total of 56 survivors (77%) returned the 12-month questionnaire, whose median age was 62 (inter-quartile range [IQR]: 55.0-68.0). Moreover, 67 family members (66%) returned the 12-month questionnaire, whose median age was 58 (IQR: 43-66). At least one physical problem was reported by 93% of the survivors, with 22% reporting changes in their work-status. Both survivors (84%) and their family members (85%) reported at least one spiritual need. The need to feel connected with family was the strongest. The main theme was 'returning to normal' in the interviews with survivors and 'if the patient is well, I am well' in the interviews with family members.
CONCLUSIONS: One year after discharge, both COVID-19 intensive care survivors and their family members positively evaluate their health-status. Survivors experience physical impairments, and their family members' well-being is strongly impacted by the health of the survivor.
- critical care
- post intensive care syndrome
- quality of life