Post-Intensive Care Unit Psychiatric Comorbidity and Quality of Life

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The prevalence of psychiatric symptoms ranges from 17% to 44% in intensive care unit (ICU) survivors. The relationship between the comorbidity of psychiatric symptoms and quality of life (QoL) in ICU survivors has not been carefully examined. This study examined the relationship between psychiatric comorbidities and QoL in 58 survivors of ICU delirium. Patients completed 3 psychiatric screens at 3 months after discharge from the hospital, including the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) for depression, the Generalized Anxiety Disorder-7 (GAD-7) questionnaire for anxiety, and the Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS-10) questionnaire for posttraumatic stress disorder. Patients with 3 positive screens (PHQ-9 ≥ 10; GAD-7 ≥ 10; and PTSS-10 > 35) comprised the high psychiatric comorbidity group. Patients with 1 to 2 positive screens were labeled the low to moderate (low-moderate) psychiatric comorbidity group. Patients with 3 negative screens were labeled the no psychiatric morbidity group. Thirty-one percent of patients met the criteria for high psychiatric comorbidity. After adjusting for age, gender, Charlson Comorbidity Index, discharge status, and prior history of depression and anxiety, patients who had high psychiatric comorbidity were more likely to have a poorer QoL compared with the low-moderate comorbidity and no morbidity groups, as measured by a lower EuroQol 5 dimensions questionnaire 3-level Index (no, 0.69 ± 0.25; low-moderate, 0.70 ± 0.19; high, 0.48 ± 0.24; P = 0.017). Future studies should confirm these findings and examine whether survivors of ICU delirium with high psychiatric comorbidity have different treatment needs from survivors with lower psychiatric comorbidity.

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