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Self-Reported Fatigue in Children Following Intensive Care Treatment*

Colville, Gillian A., MPhil, AFBPsS1,2,3; Pierce, Christine M., MBBS, MRCP, FRCPCH, FFICM1; Peters, Mark J., MBChB, MRCP, FRCPCH, PhD1

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine: February 2019 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p e98–e101
doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000001794
Online Brief Report

Objectives: Adults report high levels of fatigue after intensive care, but little is known about pediatric survivors. This study aimed to explore rates of self-reported fatigue in children after critical illness.

Design: Prospective cohort study.

Setting: Tertiary children’s hospital.

Patients: Ninety-seven children aged 7–17 years old.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and Main Results: Children completed the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Multidimensional Fatigue Scale 3 months after discharge from PICU. Comparisons with normative data (n = 209) showed that PICU survivors reported similar mean (SD) total fatigue scores to their healthy peers (79.6 [16.3] vs 81.8 [12.5]; p = 0.239), but greater cognitive fatigue (77.4 [21.9] vs 82.4 [16.4]; p = 0.048). Also children who had sustained a traumatic brain injury reported “less” sleep/rest fatigue (84.6 [15.0] vs 76.8 [16.3]; p = 0.006). Baseline indices of severity of illness were not associated with fatigue.

Conclusions: The Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Multidimensional Fatigue Scale appears to be a promising tool for use in outcomes research with PICU survivors. These results highlight the need to bear in mind the heterogeneity of PICU patients and the multidimensional nature of fatigue symptoms.

1Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

2Paediatric Psychology Service, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

3Population Health Research Institute, St George’s University of London, London, United Kingdom.

*See also p. 211.

The study took place at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London, United Kingdom.

Supported, in part, by Health Foundation Leading Practice Through Research Award to Ms. Colville (Project Ref: 2224/2386).

Ms. Colville’s institution received funding from the Health Foundation (Leading Practice Through Research Award to first author). Dr. Pierce’s institution received funding from Pfizer, and she received support for article research from the Health Foundation. Dr. Peters received funding from Therakind for Data Safety Monitoring Board work and Faron.

For information regarding this article, E-mail: gcolvill@sgul.ac.uk

©2019The Society of Critical Care Medicine and the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies