Sex Differences in Patient-Reported Outcomes in the Immediate Recovery Period After Resuscitation: Findings From the Cross-sectional DenHeart Survey

J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2022 Apr 28. doi: 10.1097/JCN.0000000000000914. Online ahead of print.


Background: A paucity of resuscitation studies have examined sex differences in patient-reported outcomes upon hospital discharge. It remains unclear whether male and female patients differ in health outcomes in their immediate responses to trauma and treatment after resuscitation.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine sex differences in patient-reported outcomes in the immediate recovery period after resuscitation.

Methods: In a national cross-sectional survey, patient-reported outcomes were measured by 5 instruments: symptoms of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale), illness perception (Brief Illness Perception Questionnaire [B-IPQ]), symptom burden (Edmonton Symptom Assessment Scale [ESAS]), quality of life (Heart Quality of Life Questionnaire), and perceived health status (12-Item Short Form Survey).

Results: Of 491 eligible survivors of cardiac arrest, 176 (80% male) participated. Compared with male, resuscitated female reported worse symptoms of anxiety (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale-Anxiety score ≥8) (43% vs 23%; P = .04), emotional responses (B-IPQ) (mean [SD], 4.9 [3.12] vs 3.7 [2.99]; P = .05), identity (B-IPQ) (mean [SD], 4.3 [3.10] vs 4.0 [2.85]; P = .04), fatigue (ESAS) (mean [SD], 5.26 [2.48] vs 3.92 [2.93]; P = .01), and depressive symptoms (ESAS) (mean [SD], 2.60 [2.68] vs 1.67 [2.19]; P = .05).

Conclusions: Between sexes, female survivors of cardiac arrest reported worse psychological distress and illness perception and higher symptom burden in the immediate recovery period after resuscitation. Attention should focus on early symptom screening at hospital discharge to identify those in need of targeted psychological support and rehabilitation.

Trial registration: NCT01926145.

Associated data