Most survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) suffer from cardiologic symptoms and approximately half of them experience cognitive problems because of hypoxic brain damage. Symptoms of anxiety and depression are also common. This review aims to give an overview of recent literature on rehabilitation treatment aiming at improvement of quality of life after OHCA.
Existing cognitive screening tools are now validated for OHCA survivors. OHCA patients with cognitive deficits may have lower exercise capacity. Cardiac rehabilitation seems to be well tolerated for OHCA survivors, with outcomes comparable to myocardial infarction patients. Many caregivers suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder and emotional stress. Interventions for them are available. Implementation of integrated programs covering both cognitive and cardiac rehabilitation is hampered by lack of knowledge and organizational barriers.
OHCA survivors should be routinely screened for cognitive and emotional problems. When patients with mild cognitive deficits participate in cardiac rehabilitation, their program should be adjusted to their cognitive abilities. For patients with severe cognitive or emotional problems, individualized rehabilitation seems favorable. Integrated rehabilitation treatment between cardiac and cognitive rehabilitation departments is recommended. Attention should be paid to the burden of caregivers.
aLeiden University Medical Center
bBasalt Rehabilitation, Leiden
cMerem Rehabilitation, Lelystad
dCentre for Rehabilitation, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
eMonash University, Melbourne, Australia
fLimburg Brain Injury Center
gSchool for Mental Health and Neuroscience
hDepartment of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Correspondence to Liesbeth W. Boyce, Basalt Rehabilitation, Leiden, The Netherlands. E-mail: email@example.com