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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2004 Nov;10(7):1005-17.

Quality of life, emotional, and cognitive function following acute respiratory distress syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Divisions, LDS Hospital, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.


Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by lung injury and hypoxemia, has a high mortality rate, and is associated with significant morbidity including cognitive and emotional sequelae and decreased quality of life. There is limited information regarding which of these factors are associated with decreased quality of life. This study assessed the relationships between quality of life, cognitive and emotional function in ARDS survivors at 1-year post-hospital discharge. Sixty-six ARDS survivors were administered a battery of neuropsychological tests, measures of emotional function and quality of life 1 year post-hospital discharge. At 1 year 45% of the ARDS patients had cognitive sequelae and 29% had mild to moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Depression, anxiety, and intensive care unit length of stay were significantly correlated with decreased quality of life. Cognitive impairments did not correlate with decreased quality of life. Illness severity and emotional function, but not cognitive sequelae, are associated with decreased quality of life 1 year following ARDS. ARDS is common and may result in significant cognitive and emotional morbidity and decreased quality of life.

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