Cognitive function, quality of life and mental health in survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a review

Cameron Green, John A Botha, Ravindranath Tiruvoipati

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There is growing interest in the long-term outcomes of patients surviving out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). This paper aims to summarise the available literature on the long-term cognitive, health-related quality of life (QoL) and mental health outcomes of survivors of OHCA. Between 30 and 50 of survivors of OHCA experience cognitive deficits for up to several years post-discharge. Deficits of attention, declarative memory, executive function, visuospatial abilities and verbal fluency are commonly reported. Survivors of OHCA appear to report high rates of mental illness, with up to 61 experiencing anxiety, 45 experiencing depression and 27 experiencing post-traumatic stress. Fatigue appears to be a commonly reported longterm outcome for survivors of OHCA. Investigations of long-term QoL for these patients have produced mixed findings. Carers of survivors of OHCA report high rates of depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress, with insufficient social and financial support. The heterogeneous range of instruments used to assess cognitive function and QoL prevent any clear conclusions being drawn from the available literature. The potential biases inherent in this patient population and the interaction between QoL, cognitive performance and mental health warrant further investigation, as does the role of post-discharge support services in improving long-term patient outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568 - 576
Number of pages9
JournalAnaesthesia and Intensive Care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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