Objectives: In cardiac arrest patients (in hospital and pre hospital) does resuscitation produce a good Quality of Life (QoL) for survivors after discharge from the hospital?
Methods: Embase, Medline, The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Academic Search Premier, the Central Database of Controlled Trials and the American Heart Association (AHA) Resuscitation Endnote Library were searched using the terms ('Cardiac Arrest' (Mesh) OR 'Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation' (Mesh) OR 'Heart Arrest' (Mesh)) AND ('Outcomes' OR 'Quality of Life' OR 'Depression' OR 'Post-traumatic Stress Disorder' OR 'Anxiety OR 'Cognitive Function' OR 'Participation' OR 'Social Function' OR 'Health Utilities Index' OR 'SF-36' OR 'EQ-5D' as text term.
Results: There were 9 inception (prospective) cohort studies (LOE P1), 3 follow up of untreated control groups in randomised control trials (LOE P2), 11 retrospective cohort studies (LOE P3) and 47 case series (LOE P4). 46 of the studies were supportive with respect to the search question, 17 neutral and 7 negative.
Discussion: The majority of studies concluded that QoL after cardiac arrest is good. This review demonstrated a remarkable heterogeneity of methodology amongst studies assessing QoL in cardiac arrest survivors. There is a requirement for consensus development with regard to quality of life and patient centred outcome assessment in this population.
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