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Online ISSN 1827-1596
Pearmain L. 1, Herridge M. S. 2
1 Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine, Specialty Trainee, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, UK;
2 Department of Critical Care and Respiratory Medicine, University Health Network/University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
ARDS represents an important public health problem for patients, family caregivers and society. The last decade has seen a burgeoning literature focussed on the outcomes of this patient group and has informed important new knowledge about the devastating and often irreversible morbidity related to nerve, muscle and brain injury More recent studies have reinforced these robust themes of physical and neuropsychological morbidity in other patient groups and have shown that outcomes after ARDS are one segment of a spectrum of disability and may not be widely generalizable across older patients with multiple comorbidities and protracted length of stay in the critical care unit. Our literature has reached theme saturation in terms of morbidity and needs to identify and begin to address the research agenda for the next decade. Several of these themes will be addressed here and include the following: 1) to generate large diverse datasets to understand different outcome trajectories over time to facilitate risk stratification and inform development of rehabilitation programs; 2) to embrace mixed methodology as a new longitudinal study standard to facilitate detailed qualitative observations to augment insights from quantitative data; 3) to educate patients, families, colleagues and decision-makers about outcomes after critical illness to inform policy and decision-making; 4) to embrace family caregivers and provide intervention when needed and ongoing support across transitions of care; 5) prioritize functional outcome measures over those targeted at health-related quality of life for construction of more focussed rehabilitation interventions; 6) embrace translational research programs to elucidate the relationship between functional outcome and molecular mechanism to gain further insight into the pathophysiology of critical illness, muscle and brain injury and potential insights into novel therapeutic strategies.