Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 44, Issue 9, pp 1378–1387 | Cite as

Factors associated with health-related quality of life 6 years after ICU discharge in a Finnish paediatric population: a cohort study

  • Elina KyöstiEmail author
  • Tero I. Ala-Kokko
  • Pasi Ohtonen
  • Outi Peltoniemi
  • Paula Rautiainen
  • Janne Kataja
  • Hanna Ebeling
  • Janne H. Liisanantti



Long-term data are urgently needed in children after intensive care. The aim of this study was to measure health-related quality of life 6 years after intensive care in a paediatric intensive care population.


This national, multicentre study enrolled all children and young people admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in Finland in 2009 and 2010. The data concerning ICU stay were collected retrospectively from the ICU data registries and combined with prospective data from Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL 4.0) questionnaires, the generic 15D, 16D or 17D instrument, and data regarding children’s chronic diagnoses and need for healthcare support.


The questionnaires were answered by 1109 of 3682 living children and adolescents admitted to an ICU, response rate was 30.1%. Among the responders, 90 children (8.4%) had poor (under − 2 SD) PedsQL scores. Children with low scores had a higher rate of chronic diagnoses (94.4% vs. 47.6%), medication on a daily basis (78.7% vs. 29.4%) and a greater need for healthcare services (97.7% vs. 82.2%) than those with normal scores. Diagnoses associated with poor quality of life were asthma, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and other neurological diseases, chromosomal alterations, cancer and long-term pain. These children were mostly admitted electively, and less frequently on an emergency basis, but no other significant differences were found during the intensive care stay.


The long-term quality of life after paediatric intensive care is good for the majority of children and young people, and it is dependent on the number of chronic diagnoses and the burden of the chronic disease, especially neurological diseases.


Functional outcome Chronic diseases Disability Children Adolescents Paediatric patients 



This study was funded in part by the Päivikki and Sakari Sohlberg Foundation and the Alma and K. A. Snellman Foundation. We acknowledge the collaborators of participating units for delivering the patient identification data: Saija Rissanen, Kuopio University Hospital; Sari Karlsson, Tampere University Hospital; Ilkka Soikkeli, Lapland Central Hospital; Tuula Pelimanni, Kemi Central Hospital; Sirkku Malinen, Kainuu Central Hospital; Tadeusz Kaminski, Keski-Pohjanmaa Central Hospital; Simo-Pekka Koivisto, Vaasa Central Hospital; Kirsi Nuolivirta, Seinäjoki Central Hospital; Mikko Reilama, Central Finland Central Hospital; Pekka Saastamoinen, Savonlinna Central Hospital; Matti Reinikainen, North Karelian Central Hospital; Heikki Laine, Mikkeli Central Hospital, Jan Adamski, Satakunta Central Hospital; Mikko Huhtanen, Kanta-Häme Central Hospital; Mikko Lavonius, Päijät-Häme Central Hospital; Seppo Hovilehto, South Karelian Central Hospital; Kati Wahlman, Kymeenlaakso Central Hospital; Leena Soininen, Meilahti Central Hospital; and Tero Varpula, Jorvi Central Hospital.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature and ESICM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical Research Centre of Oulu University and Oulu University HospitalOuluFinland
  2. 2.Research Group of Surgery, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineOuluFinland
  3. 3.Division of Intensive Care Medicine, Department of PaediatricsOulu University HospitalOuluFinland
  4. 4.PEDEGO Research UnitUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  5. 5.Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Children’s Hospital, Helsinki University Hospital and University of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  6. 6.Department of PaediatricsTurku University HospitalTurkuFinland
  7. 7.Clinic of Child PsychiatryOulu University HospitalOuluFinland

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