Content » Vol 42, Issue 6

Original report

Determinants of quality of life in survivors of cardiac arrest

Véronique RMP Moulaert, Esther M Wachelder, Jeanine A. Verbunt, Derick T. Wade, Caroline M. van Heugten
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0547


Objective: To study factors related to quality of life after a hypoxic period due to cardiac arrest.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Subjects: Eighty-eight survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, admitted to a Dutch academic hospital between 2001 and 2006.
Methods: Patients received a set of questionnaires at home. The main outcome measures were physical and mental qua­lity of life (Medical Outcomes Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey; SF-36). Potential determinants were cognitive complaints, emotional problems depression/anxiety), post-traumatic stress, fatigue, daily functioning and participation in society. Multiple linear regression analyses were performed with physical and mental quality of life as dependent variables.
Results: Sixty-three (72%) patients responded. Mean time since cardiac arrest was 36 months (standard deviation (SD) 19). Backward regression analyses showed that physical quality of life was significantly (p < 0. 001, adjusted R2 = 0. 531) related to cognitive complaints (β = –0. 378), instrumental daily life activities (β = 0. 262), post-traumatic stress (β = –0. 246) and fatigue (β = –0. 226). Mental quality of life was significantly (p < 0. 001, adjusted R2 = 0. 664) explained by anxiety/depression (β = –0. 609), fatigue (β = –0. 177) and cognitive complaints (β = –0. 175).
Conclusion: Quality of life is related to cognitive complaints, fatigue, anxiety/depression, post-traumatic stress and difficulties in daily activities in survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Rehabilitation programmes for this group should specifically address these topics.

Lay Abstract


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