Acute respiratory failure survivors' physical, cognitive, and mental health outcomes: Quantitative measures versus semistructured interviews

Archana Nelliot, Victor D. Dinglas, Jacqueline O'Toole, Yashika Patel, Pedro A. Mendez-Tellez, Mohammed Nabeel, Lisa Aronson Friedman, Catherine L. Hough, Ramona O. Hopkins, Michelle N. Eakin, Dale M. Needham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Rationale: Increasingly, patients are surviving acute respiratory failure (ARF), prompting the need to better understand standardized outcome measures commonly used during ARF follow-up studies. Objectives: Investigate standardized outcome measures (patientreported physical and mental health measures, and cognitive testing) compared with findings from semistructured, qualitative interviews. Methods: As part of two ARF multicenter follow-up studies, standardized outcome measures were obtained, followed by qualitative evaluation via an in-depth, semistructured interview conducted and coded by two independent researchers. Qualitative interviews revealed the following post-ARF survivorship themes: Physical impairment; anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms; and cognitive impairment. Scores from standardized measures related to these themes were compared for ARF survivors reporting versus not reporting these themes in their qualitative interviews. Results: Of 59 invited ARF survivors, 48 (81%) completed both standardized outcome measures and qualitative interviews. Participants' median (interquartile range) age was 53 (43-64) years; 54% were female, and 88% were living independently before hospitalization. The two independent reviewers classifying the presence or absence of themes from the qualitative interviews had excellent agreement (k =0.80).There were significantly worse scores on standardized outcome measures for survivors reporting (vs. not reporting) physical and mental health impairments in their qualitative interviews. However, standardized cognitive test scores did not differ between patients reporting versus not reporting cognitive impairments in their qualitative interviews. Conclusions: These findings support the use of recommended, commonly used standardized outcome measures for physical and mental health impairments in ARF survivorship research. However, caution is needed in interpreting self-reported cognitive function compared with standardized cognitive testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-737
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


  • Critical illness
  • Follow-up studies
  • Patient outcomes
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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