Factors associated with functional recovery among older intensive care unit survivors

Lauren E. Ferrante, Margaret A. Pisani, Terrence E. Murphy, Evelyne A. Gahbauer, Linda S. Leo-Summers, Thomas M. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Rationale: Most of the 1.4 million older adults who survive the intensive care unit (ICU) annually in the United States face increased disability, but little is known about those who achieve functional recovery. Objectives: Our objectives were twofold: to evaluate the incidence and time to recovery of premorbid function within 6 months of a critical illness and to identify independent predictors of functional recovery among older ICU survivors. Methods: Potential participants included 754 persons aged 70 years or older who were evaluated monthly in 13 functional activities (1998-2012). The analytic sample included 218 ICU admissions from 186 ICU survivors. Functional recovery was defined as returning to a disability count less than or equal to the pre-ICU disability count within 6 months. Twenty-one potential predictors were evaluated for their associations with recovery. Measurements and Main Results: Functional recovery was observed for 114 (52.3%) of the 218 admissions. In multivariable analysis, higher body mass index (hazard ratio [HR], 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03-1.12) and greater functional selfefficacy (HR, 1.05; 95% CI, 1.02-1.08), a measure of confidence in performing various activities, were associated with recovery, whereas pre-ICU impairment in hearing (HR, 0.38; 95% CI, 0.22-0.66) and vision (HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.37-0.95) were associated with a lack of recovery. Conclusions: Among older adults who survived an ICU admission with increased disability, pre-ICU hearing and vision impairment were strongly associated with poor functional recovery within 6 months, whereas higher body mass index and functional selfefficacy were associated with recovery. Future research is needed to evaluate whether interventions targeting these factors improve functional outcomes among older ICU survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-307
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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