Two simple questions to assess neurologic outcomes at 3 months after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: experience from the public access defibrillation trial

Resuscitation. 2010 May;81(5):530-3. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.01.011. Epub 2010 Feb 20.


Background: Two simple questions have been used to classify neurologic outcome in patients with stroke. Could they be similarly applied to patients with cardiac arrest?

Methods: As part of a randomized trial, study personnel interviewed by telephone survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest to assess their outcomes 3 months after discharge. They asked two simple questions: (1) In the last 2 weeks, did you require help from another person for your everyday activities? and (2) Do you feel that you have made a complete mental recovery form your heart arrest? Next they administered the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) from the Adult Lifestyles and Function Interview (ALFI) to assess cognition on a scale from 0 to 22 and the Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3) to assess quality of life on a scale from 0 (death) to 1 (perfect health).

Results: Based on responses to the two simple questions, 32 survivors were classified as dependent (n=5, 16%), independent (n=3, 9%) and full recovery (n=24, 75%). The mean ALFI-MMSE score was 19.1 (standard deviation 5.1), and the mean HUI3 score was 0.76 (standard deviation 0.28). The classification based on the two simple questions was significantly correlated with ALFI-MMSE (p=0.002) and HUI3 (p=0.001). Scores for the HUI3 were missing in eight survivors.

Conclusions: Neurologic outcomes based on the two simple questions after cardiac arrest can be easily determined, sensibly applied, and readily interpreted. These preliminary findings justify further evaluation of this simple and practical approach to classify neurologic outcome in survivors of cardiac arrest.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Defibrillators
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / complications
  • Heart Arrest / physiopathology*
  • Heart Arrest / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • Nervous System Diseases / etiology
  • Nervous System Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Recovery of Function / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Treatment Outcome