Self-reported depressive symptoms and memory complaints in survivors five years after ARDS

Chest. 2011 Dec;140(6):1484-1493. doi: 10.1378/chest.11-1667. Epub 2011 Oct 13.


Background: Survivors of ARDS report depressive symptoms and memory complaints, the prevalence of which after 5 years is unknown.

Methods: We administered instruments assessing symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory II [BDI-II]) and memory complaints (Memory Assessment Clinics Self-Rating Scale [MAC-S]) to 64 survivors of ARDS from four university-affiliated ICUs 5 years after ICU discharge. We compared BDI-II scores to quality of life (Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form [SF-36]) mental health domains (role emotional, mental health, mental component summary), compared BDI-II and MAC-S scores to earlier scores (median, 22 months postdischarge), and examined return to work.

Results: Forty-three (67.2%), 46 (71.9%), and 38 (59.4%) patients fully completed the BDI-II, MAC-S ability subscale, and MAC-S frequency of occurrence subscale, respectively. Responders were young (median, 48 years; first-third quartile [Q1-Q3], 39-61 years) with high illness severity. The median BDI-II score was 10 (Q1-Q3, 3-18); eight of 43 (18.6%) had moderate to severe depressive symptoms compared with 14 of 43 (32.6%) earlier (P = .15, n = 38 with paired data). Median MAC-S ability and MAC-S frequency scores were 81 (Q1-Q3, 57-92) and 91.5 (Q1-Q3, 76-105), respectively, similar to earlier scores (P = .67 and P = .64, respectively); 0% to 4.3% scored > 2 SDs below population norms. Higher BDI-II score was predicted by higher earlier BDI-II score, slower recovery of organ function, and longer duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU stay. Higher MAC-S score was predicted by higher earlier MAC-S score. SF-36 mental health domain scores were very stable (P = .57-.83). BDI-II and SF-36 mental health domains were negatively correlated (Spearman coefficient, -0.50 to -0.82). Most patients returned to work regardless of depressive symptoms (minimal to mild, 31 of 35 [88.6%]; moderate to severe, five of eight [62.5%]; P = .12).

Conclusions: Compared with ∼ 2 years postdischarge from the ICU, depressive symptoms and memory complaints were similar at 5 years. Mental health domains of the SF-36 may not be sensitive to small changes in mood symptoms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Care / methods
  • Critical Care / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Diagnostic Self Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Memory Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Memory Disorders / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Ontario
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / psychology*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors
  • Time Factors