Long term outcomes following critical care hospital admission: A prospective cohort study of UK biobank participants

Joanne McPeake, Theodore J. Iwashyna, Philip Henderson, Alastair H. Leyland, Daniel Mackay, Tara Quasim, Matthew Walters, Michael Harhay, Martin Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This study aimed to understand the impact of a critical care admission on long-term outcomes, compared to other hospitalised patients without a critical care encounter. A secondary aim was to examine the interrelationship between emotional, physical, and social problems during recovery. Methods: We utilised data from the UK Biobank, an on-going, prospective population-based cohort study. We employed propensity score matching to assess differences in outcomes between patients with a critical care encounter and patients admitted to the hospital (first admission to hospital available) without critical care. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse emotional, physical and social outcomes following critical illness and the relationships between these health domains. Findings: Data from 1,618 patients were analysed. The median time to follow-up in the critical care cohort was 4427 days (IQR:788–6146) vs 4516 days (IQR: 811–6369) in the non-critical care, hospitalised cohort. Across the two time periods assessed (pre and post 2000), patients exposed to critical care were more likely to experience mental health issues such as depression (p < 0.01) and social isolation (p = 0.01) following discharge from hospital. The critical care cohort were also more likely to have social problems such as the requirement for government funded welfare support (p = 0.02). In the critical care cohort, social and emotional health were closely correlated (p < 0.001, 95% CI:0.33–0.54). The nature of physical problems changed over time; pre-2000 there was a significant difference between the critical and non-critical care in physical outcomes following discharge from hospital, however, there was no difference detected between the two cohorts post-2000. Interpretation: This cohort study has demonstrated that survivors of critical illness have different psycho-social outcomes to matched patients, hospitalised without a critical care encounter. Funding: JM is funded by a THIS.Institute (University of Cambridge) Research Fellowship (PD-2019–02–16). AHL is part of the Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, funded by the Medical Research Council (MC_UU_12017/13) and the Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office (SPHSU13).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100121
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Intensive care and emotional
  • Long-term outcomes
  • Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Oncology
  • Internal Medicine


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