Study protocol: the Intensive Care Outcome Network ('ICON') study.
Griffiths JA., Morgan K., Barber VS., Young JD.
BACKGROUND: Extended follow-up of survivors of ICU treatment has shown many patients suffer long-term physical and psychological consequences that affect their health-related quality of life. The current lack of rigorous longitudinal studies means that the true prevalence of these physical and psychological problems remains undetermined. METHODS/DESIGN: The ICON (Intensive Care Outcome Network) study is a multi-centre, longitudinal study of survivors of critical illness. Patients will be recruited prior to hospital discharge from 20-30 ICUs in the UK and will be assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months following ICU discharge for health-related quality of life as measured by the Short Form-36 (SF-36) and the EuroQoL (EQ-5D); anxiety and depression as measured by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS); and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms as measured by the PTSD Civilian Checklist (PCL-C). Postal questionnaires will be used. DISCUSSION: The ICON study will create a valuable UK database detailing the prevalence of physical and psychological morbidity experienced by patients as they recover from critical illness. Knowledge of the prevalence of physical and psychological morbidity in ICU survivors is important because research to generate models of causality, prognosis and treatment effects is dependent on accurate determination of prevalence. The results will also inform economic modelling of the long-term burden of critical illness. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN69112866.