The comeback patients

Each year, nearly 1.4 million older adults in the U.S. leave intensive care units (ICUs) and face a life with increased disability. However, a small group achieve a functional recovery---yet little is known about these individuals.

A new study published in the August issue of American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine shows that about half of ICU survivors achieved functional recovery in the six months after their ICU admission. If a person suffered from a vision or hearing problem, they were less likely to recover.

A research team led by pulmonologist and intensivist Lauren Ferrante, M.D., M.P.H., also found that higher body mass index and functional self-efficacy were associated with recovery. More research will be necessary to determine if interventions targeting those factors improve function outcomes or not.

The sample analyzed included 218 ICU admitted patients and 186 survivors of that unit. The team then evaluated 21 potential predictors for their associations with recovery.

The research follows on an earlier study done by Ferrante and her group last year that examined how the level of disability the year before an ICU visit can predict post-ICU disability and death.

This research was funded by an NIH/NIA GEMSSTAR award, the Yale Pepper Center, and the ATS Foundation.

Follow the author and departments on Twitter at @LFerranteMD @YalePCCSM and @YaleGeriatrics.

For the complete journal article, please click here.

This article was submitted by Buqu Hu on August 15, 2016.