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Outcomes of critical illness

what is meaningful?

Gajic, Ognjena; Ahmad, Sumera R.a; Wilson, Michael E.a,b; Kaufman, David A.c

Current Opinion in Critical Care: October 2018 - Volume 24 - Issue 5 - p 394–400
doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000530
CRITICAL CARE OUTCOMES: Edited by Ognjen Gajic

Purpose of review In this review, we will discuss efforts and challenges in understanding and developing meaningful outcomes of critical care research, quality improvement and policy, which are patient-centered and goal concordant, rather than mortality alone. We shall discuss different aspects of what could constitute outcomes of critical illness as meaningful to the patients and other stakeholders, including families and providers.

Recent findings Different outcome pathways after critical illness impact the patients, families and providers in multiple ways. For patients who die, it is important to consider the experience of dying. For the increasing number of survivors of critical illness, challenges of survival have surfaced. The physical, mental and social debility that survivors experience has evolved into the entity called post-ICU syndrome. The importance of prehospital health state trajectory and the need for the outcome of critical care to be aligned with the patients’ goals and preferences have been increasingly recognized.

Summary A theoretical framework is outlined to help understand the impact of critical care interventions on outcomes that are meaningful to patients, families and healthcare providers.

aDivision of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine

bRobert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

cDivision of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA

Correspondence to Ognjen Gajic, MD, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA. Tel: +1 507 255 6149; e-mail:

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