Although outcomes of critically ill patients with haematological malignancies (HMs) have been fully investigated in terms of organ failure and mortality, data are scarce on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in this population. We aim to assess post-intensive care unit (ICU) burden and HRQOL of critically ill patients with HMs and to identify risk factors for quality-of-life (QOL) impairment.
In total, 1011 patients with HMs who required ICU admission in 17 ICUs in France and Belgium were included in the study; 278 and 117 patients were evaluated for QOL at 3 months and 1 year, respectively, after ICU discharge. HRQOL was determined by applying the interview form of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire. Psychological distress symptoms were evaluated using the Hospital Anxiety Depression Score (HADS) and the Impact of Event Scale (IES). In-hospital mortality rates at 3 months and 1 year were, respectively, 39.1, 50.7 and 57.2%, respectively. At 3 months, median [IQR] physical and mental component summary scores (PCS and MCS) (SF-36) were 37 [28–46] and 51 [45–58], respectively. PCS was lower in ICU patients with HMs when compared to general ICU septic patients (52 [5–13], p = 0.00001). The median combined HAD score was 8 [5–13], and the median IES score was 8 [3–16]. However, recovery during the first year after ICU discharge was not consistent in all dimensions of HRQOL. Three months after ICU discharge, the maximum daily Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score and status of the underlying malignancy at ICU admission were significantly associated with MCS impairment (− 0.54 points [95% CI − 0.99; − 0.1], p = 0.018 and − 4.83 points [95% CI − 8.44; − 1.22], p = 0.009, respectively).
HRQOL is strongly impaired in critically ill patients with HMs at 3 months and 1 year after ICU discharge. Organ failure and disease status are strongly associated with QOL. The kinetic evaluation of QOL at 3 months and 1 year offers the opportunity to focus on QOL aspects that may be improved by therapeutic interventions during the first year after ICU discharge.