This thesis examined the long-term consequences of treatment in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on older patients’ quality of life, healthcare resource utilization, and presence of the distressing symptoms of pain, anxiety and agitation. Study findings reveal that up to one year after the ICU stay, older patients report a good quality of life and do not experience increased long-term pain, anxiety or agitation as compared to a sample of age-matched participants. The study concludes that with sufficient healthcare resources for support, such as frequent contact with their general practitioner, easily accessible rehabilitation programs and home healthcare services, older patients can recover to a level where they can live relatively independently at home and do not require cost-intensive institutionalization. This information justifies treatment of older patients in ICUs, and to plan for the provision of sufficient resources to support older patients living at home.
- intensive care treatment, older patients, long-term consequences
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