Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survivors need both cardiological and neurological rehabilitation!

Liesbeth W Boyce*, Paulien H Goossens, Véronique R Moulaert, Gemma Pound, Caroline M van Heugten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

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PURPOSE OF REVIEW: 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.

RECENT FINDINGS: 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.

SUMMARY: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-243
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • LIFE
  • cardiac rehabilitation
  • caregivers
  • cognitive rehabilitation
  • resuscitation
  • screening

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