Physical and Mental Health of Patients Immediately After Discharge From Intensive Care Unit and 24 Hours Later




Background: Monitoring the health status of patients discharged from intensive care units is a crucial method of service evaluation. Objectives: This study aimed to assess the physical and mental health status of patients immediately after discharge from the ICU and 24 hours later. Patients and Methods: This descriptive comparative study was conducted on 104 patients discharged from the ICUs of a referral trauma center in Shiraz, Southwest Iran. Physical parameters, including respiratory rate, need for supplemental oxygen, heart rate, blood pressure, and need for cardiac monitoring, were assessed. Hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) was used for mental health evaluation. The mental and physical status of patients were assessed before ICU discharge and 24 hours later; data were recorded in information forms and were analyzed using SPSS statistical software version 17. Results: At the time of discharge, the respiratory rate of 28% of the participants was more than 24 minutes, and 95.2% received supplemental oxygen. However, after 24 hours these values decreased to 10% and 21.6%, respectively. The mean heart rate and systolic blood pressure were within the normal range at both time points. Additionally, 63% of the patients had anxiety scores above 11 at both time points, reflecting high anxiety. The number of patients who reported depression increased from 58.7% at ICU discharge to 69.6% after 24 hours. Conclusions: Despite the considerable improvement in most of the patients’ physical condition in the first 24 hours after discharge from ICU, a significant number of them remain at risk for the development of adverse effects from this transition. The high prevalence of mental health disorders in these patients reveals the necessity to conduct follow-up consultations.