Survivors of ARDS report depressive symptoms and memory complaints, the prevalence of which after 5 years is unknown.
We administered instruments assessing symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory II [BDI-II]) and memory complaints (Memory Assessment Clinics Self-Rating Scale [MAC-S]) to 64 survivors of ARDS from four university-affiliated ICUs 5 years after ICU discharge. We compared BDI-II scores to quality of life (Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form [SF-36]) mental health domains (role emotional, mental health, mental component summary), compared BDI-II and MAC-S scores to earlier scores (median, 22 months postdischarge), and examined return to work.
Forty-three (67.2%), 46 (71.9%), and 38 (59.4%) patients fully completed the BDI-II, MAC-S ability subscale, and MAC-S frequency of occurrence subscale, respectively. Responders were young (median, 48 years; first-third quartile [Q1-Q3], 39-61 years) with high illness severity. The median BDI-II score was 10 (Q1-Q3, 3-18); eight of 43 (18.6%) had moderate to severe depressive symptoms compared with 14 of 43 (32.6%) earlier (P = .15, n = 38 with paired data). Median MAC-S ability and MAC-S frequency scores were 81 (Q1-Q3, 57-92) and 91.5 (Q1-Q3, 76-105), respectively, similar to earlier scores (P = .67 and P = .64, respectively); 0% to 4.3% scored > 2 SDs below population norms. Higher BDI-II score was predicted by higher earlier BDI-II score, slower recovery of organ function, and longer duration of mechanical ventilation and ICU stay. Higher MAC-S score was predicted by higher earlier MAC-S score. SF-36 mental health domain scores were very stable (P = .57-.83). BDI-II and SF-36 mental health domains were negatively correlated (Spearman coefficient, −0.50 to −0.82). Most patients returned to work regardless of depressive symptoms (minimal to mild, 31 of 35 [88.6%]; moderate to severe, five of eight [62.5%]; P = .12).
Compared with ∼ 2 years postdischarge from the ICU, depressive symptoms and memory complaints were similar at 5 years. Mental health domains of the SF-36 may not be sensitive to small changes in mood symptoms.