Outcomes of critical illness: What is meaningful?

Ognjen Gajic, Sumera R. Ahmad, Michael E. Wilson, David A. Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose of review In this review, we will discuss efforts and challenges in understanding and developing meaningful outcomes of critical care research, quality improvement and policy, which are patient-centered and goal concordant, rather than mortality alone. We shall discuss different aspects of what could constitute outcomes of critical illness as meaningful to the patients and other stakeholders, including families and providers. Recent findings Different outcome pathways after critical illness impact the patients, families and providers in multiple ways. For patients who die, it is important to consider the experience of dying. For the increasing number of survivors of critical illness, challenges of survival have surfaced. The physical, mental and social debility that survivors experience has evolved into the entity called post-ICU syndrome. The importance of prehospital health state trajectory and the need for the outcome of critical care to be aligned with the patients’ goals and preferences have been increasingly recognized. Summary A theoretical framework is outlined to help understand the impact of critical care interventions on outcomes that are meaningful to patients, families and healthcare providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)394-400
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2018


  • Critical illness
  • Dying
  • Patient-centered outcomes
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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