Introduction: The objective of the present study was to compare the health-related quality of life (HR-QoL) of survivors from severe sepsis and septic shock with HR-QoL in others who survived critical illness not involving sepsis.
Methods: From March 1997 to March 2001, adult patients in an eight-bed medical/surgical intensive care unit (ICU) of a tertiary care hospital admitted with severe sepsis or septic shock (sepsis group; n = 305) were enrolled and compared with patients admitted without sepsis (control group; n = 392). Patients younger than 18 years (n = 48) and those whose ICU stay was 1 day or less (n = 453) were excluded. In addition, patients exhibiting nonsevere sepsis on admission were excluded (n = 87). Finally, patients who developed nonsevere sepsis or severe sepsis/septic shock after admission were also excluded (n = 88).
Results: In-hospital mortality rates were 34% in the sepsis group and 26% in the control group. There were no differences in sex, age, main activity (work status), and previous health state between groups. Survivors in the sepsis group had a significantly higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score on admission (17 versus 12) and stayed significantly longer in the ICU. A follow-up appointment was held 6 months after ICU discharge, and an EQ-5D (EuroQol five-dimension) questionnaire was administered. A total of 104 sepsis survivors and 133 survivors in the control group answered the EQ-5D questionnaire. Sepsis survivors reported significantly fewer problems only in the anxiety/depression dimension. Although there were no significant differences in the other dimensions of the EQ-5D, there was a trend towards fewer problems being reported by sepsis survivors.
Conclusion: Evaluation using the EQ-5D at 6 months after ICU discharge indicated that survivors from severe sepsis and septic shock have a similar HR-QoL to that of survivors from critical illness admitted without sepsis.