Purpose: To investigate the impact of hydrocortisone treatment and illness severity on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) at 6 months in septic shock survivors from the ADRENAL trial. Methods: Using the EuroQol questionnaire (EQ-5D-5L) at 6 months after randomization we assessed HRQoL in patient subgroups defined by hydrocortisone or placebo treatment, gender, illness severity (APACHE II < or ≥ 25), and severity of shock (baseline peak catecholamine doses < or ≥ 15 mcg/min). Additionally, in subgroups defined by post-randomisation variables; time to shock reversal (days), treatment with renal replacement therapy (RRT), and presence of bacteremia. Results: At 6 months, there were 2521 survivors. Of these 2151 patients (85.3%-1080 hydrocortisone and 1071 placebo) completed 6-month follow-up. Overall, at 6 months the mean EQ-5D-5L visual analogue scale (VAS) was 70.8, mean utility score 59.4. Between 15% and 30% of patients reported moderate to severe problems in any given HRQoL domain. There were no differences in any EQ-5D-5L domain in patients who received hydrocortisone vs. placebo, nor in the mean VAS (p = 0.6161), or mean utility score (p = 0.7611). In all patients combined, males experienced lower pain levels compared to females [p = 0.0002). Neither higher severity of illness or shock impacted reported HRQoL. In post-randomisation subgroups, longer time to shock reversal was associated with increased problems with mobility (p = < 0.0001]; self-care (p = 0.0.0142), usual activities (p = <0.0001] and pain (p = 0.0384). Amongst those treated with RRT, more patients reported increased problems with mobility (p = 0.0307) and usual activities (p = 0.0048) compared to those not treated. Bacteraemia was not associated with worse HRQoL in any domains of the EQ-5D-5L. Conclusions: Approximately one fifth of septic shock survivors report moderate to extreme problems in HRQoL domains at 6 months. Hydrocortisone treatment for septic shock was not associated with improved HRQoL at 6 months. Female gender was associated with worse pain at 6 months.
- Health-related quality of life
- Intensive care
- Septic shock