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INTRODUCTION: Treatment on an intensive care unit (ICU) imposes a high treatment burden on patients, as well as an economic burden for the healthcare provider. Many studies have recorded health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients after treatment on an ICU. We propose a systematic review of these studies. METHODS: We will search the National Library of Medicine's PubMed electronic database (PubMed), the Cochrane database, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Web of Science and Open Grey to identify papers reporting quality of life after discharge from ICU. We will include papers including validated quality of life measures. We will examine three categories: populations of patients treated on general ICUs, patients with severe infections and patients with respiratory dysfunction. We will extract HRQoL data. We will assess papers for risk of bias using the QUADAS-2 tool. The strength of our conclusions will depend on the quality and number of papers showing uniform results. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This review will use published literature and contains no primary data; so we do not need ethical approval. We will submit the outcome of the systematic review to a peer-reviewed journal. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: PROSPERO CRD42015024700.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





HRQoL, Health Related Quality of Life, INTENSIVE & CRITICAL CARE, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Female, Humans, Intensive Care Units, Male, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Middle Aged, Patient Discharge, Quality of Life, Research Design, Review Literature as Topic, Young Adult