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Eur J Pediatr. 2013 Jan;172(1):85-90. doi: 10.1007/s00431-012-1843-0. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Long-term quality of life of patients treated in paediatric intensive care unit.

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Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital of Split, Spinciceva 1, 2100 Split, Croatia.


The changes in long-term quality of life (QOL) of children treated in paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) were investigated in relation to their QOL before critical illness together with the influence of underlying chronic health condition and severity of illness estimated by Paediatric Index of Mortality 2 on the long-term outcome. This study included 189 children treated in PICU and 179 children from outpatient clinics as controls. QOL was evaluated according to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children Measure of Function (RAHC MOF). The long-term QOL in 70 % of children treated in PICU was good, although there was a significant diminution of QOL in children treated in PICU in comparison with their preadmission scores and with the children from outpatient clinics who served as controls (p < 0.001). Severity of illness had a significant impact on children's QOL (p = 0.016) 6 months after treatment in PICU. Twenty-four months after discharge, the RAHC MOF score was still decreased in 19 % of children treated in PICU, and in significantly more patients with a chronic health condition (CHC) treated in PICU, than in their peers from outpatient clinics (p = 0.029). Reduced QOL was significantly more frequent in children with neurodevelopmental disability than in children without CHC 24 months after discharge from PICU (p = 0.013).


Acute illness has a significant impact both on children with and without CHC after treatment in PICU 6 months after discharge. Twenty-four months after discharge, comorbidity was identified as the decisive factor for diminished QOL in children after PICU treatment.

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