Background: In-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) is common and associated with considerable morbidity, mortality, and resource costs. Understanding patterns of long-term outcomes is essential in those who survive IHCA. However, there has been limited data on patient-reported outcomes among survivors, in part because they are believed to be difficult to access.
Objective: To assess the feasibility and acceptability of a centralized phone-based survey of patient-reported outcomes among Veteran survivors of IHCA 1 year post-discharge.
Methods: Veteran survivors of IHCA (ICD-9-CM codes 99.60, 99.63 or 427.5) who were discharged from a VA Medical Center from September 1, 2013 to October 31, 2013 were identified. After confirmation of eligibility by medical record review, they were sent a research information packet. Those who did not opt-out were contacted by phone 2 weeks later. Research Assistants (RAs) were trained to address any study related concerns and complete IRB-approved informed consent. Veterans who consented were surveyed by phone or mail. If a Veteran was not reached at first contact, RAs followed a call back procedure of attempting subsequent calls at different times of the day and alternate contacts. A $10 gift card was offered to participants for their time completing the survey.
Results: The recruitment and enrollment process is detailed in Figure 1. In this pilot study, we achieved a 74% (37 of 50) survey completion rate in a national cohort of 1-year survivors of IHCA. This required 323 call attempts, of which 70 calls reached patients. The remaining calls included voicemails (n=61), speaking to an informant (n=19), call-backs (n=18), and other (e.g. busy signal, no answer (n=155)). RAs completed 35 phone surveys and 2 mailed surveys; 1 Veteran died between consent and survey. The median respondent required 4 calls to complete the survey, interquartile range 2-6. The mean total call length (including consent and survey) was 22.9 minutes (median 20 minutes, interquartile range 17-26), with mean total survey length of 16.6 minutes.
Conclusion: High recruitment and survey completion rates are feasible among survivors of IHCA without prior contact, 1 year post-discharge. This process will be applied to ResCU’s prospective cohort and adapted to ensure continued participation at 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-discharge.