Psychiatric and Neurological Recovery After Critical Illness

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Research on post-ICU outcomes has progressed from simple descriptions of mortality to patient-centered quality of life measures to detailed epidemiology studies of weakness, impaired cognition and psychiatric disorders. In the last five years, clinicians have demonstrated that it is feasible to conduct randomized intervention trials to improve post-ICU psychological health and functional status. We review the major post-ICU observational and intervention studies completed in the last 15 years; describe plausible causal pathways that lead to impaired post-ICU recovery; and describe changes in patient care that could be done in most ICUs that would likely improve patients’ outcome.

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