Factors associated with post-intensive care unit adverse events: a clinical validation study.

Research paper by Malcolm M Elliott, Karen K Page, Linda L Worrall-Carter

Indexed on: 09 May '14Published on: 09 May '14Published in: Nursing in Critical Care


Many patients discharged from intensive care units (ICU) have complex care needs, placing them at risk of an adverse event in a ward environment. Currently, there is limited understanding of factors associated with these events in the post-intensive care population. A recent study explored intensive care liaison nurses' opinions on factors associated with these events; 25 factors were identified, highlighting the multifaceted nature of post-intensive care adverse events.This study aimed to clinically validate 25 factors intensive care liaison nurses believe are associated with post-intensive care adverse events, to determine the factors' relevance and importance to clinical practice.Prospective, clinical validation study.Data were prospectively collected on a convenience sample of 52 patients at 4 tertiary referral hospitals in an Australian capital city. All patients had experienced an adverse event after intensive care discharge.Each of the 25 factors contributed to adverse events in at least 6 patients. The factors associated with the most adverse events were those that related to the patient such as illness severity and co-morbidities.Clinical care and research should focus on modifiable factors in care processes to reduce the risk of future adverse events in post-intensive care patients.Many patients are at risk of post-ICU adverse events due to the contribution of non-modifiable factors. However, by focusing on modifiable factors in care processes, the risk of post-ICU adverse events may be reduced.