Objectives: Functional status at hospital discharge may be a risk factor for adverse events among survivors of critical illness. We sought to examine the association between functional status at hospital discharge in survivors of critical care and risk of 90-day all-cause mortality after hospital discharge.
Design: Single-center retrospective cohort study.
Setting: Academic Medical Center.
Patients: Ten thousand three hundred forty-three adults who received critical care from 1997 to 2011 and survived hospitalization.
Measurements and main results: The exposure of interest was functional status determined at hospital discharge by a licensed physical therapist and rated based on qualitative categories adapted from the Functional Independence Measure. The main outcome was 90-day post hospital discharge all-cause mortality. A categorical risk-prediction score was derived and validated based on a logistic regression model of the function grades for each assessment. In an adjusted logistic regression model, the lowest quartile of functional status at hospital discharge was associated with an increased odds of 90-day postdischarge mortality compared with patients with independent functional status (odds ratio, 7.63 [95% CI, 3.83-15.22; p < 0.001]). In patients who had at least 7 days of physical therapy treatment prior to hospital discharge (n = 2,293), the adjusted odds of 90-day postdischarge mortality in patients with marked improvement in functional status at discharge was 64% less than patients with no change in functional status (odds ratio, 0.36 [95% CI, 0.24-0.53]; p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Lower functional status at hospital discharge in survivors of critical illness is associated with increased postdischarge mortality. Furthermore, patients whose functional status improves before discharge have decreased odds of postdischarge mortality.