Author ORCID Identifier 0000-0002-9257-7944

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Suzanne Ameringer, PhD, RN, FAAN

Second Advisor

Victoria Menzies, PhD, EdM, APRN, FAAN

Third Advisor

Mary Jo Grap, PhD, RN

Fourth Advisor

Tamara Orr, PhD, LCP, PMHNP-BC

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Leroy Thacker II, PhD


Background: Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) affects 25-50% of individuals who survive an intensive care unit (ICU) stay. While the compounding of PICS impairments (cognitive, physical, and psychological) could potentially intensify the syndrome, there is limited research about the relationships among the impairments, particularly in the context of delirium.

Objectives: This study aimed to examine associations among PICS impairments and examine delirium status and its relationship to PICS impairments at ICU discharge and one month after ICU discharge.

Methods: This prospective, descriptive, correlational pilot study included adults who survived an ICU stay. Participants completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale, Posttraumatic Symptom Scale, Katz Independence in Activities of Daily Living, Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36), and Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) at ICU discharge and one month post-ICU discharge.

Results: Cognitive impairment was the most common impairment, affecting 62% of participants at ICU discharge and 57% at one month post-ICU discharge. A moderate positive correlation was found between MoCA and Katz scores at ICU discharge, r(43) = .501, p = .0005., and at one month post-ICU discharge, r(33) = .541, p = .0008. A moderate positive association was also found between the SF-36 physical function and MoCA scores at one month post-ICU discharge, r(33) = .459, p = .0056. Scores did not differ between participants who experienced delirium and those who did not.

Conclusions: Further research is needed to confirm the association between cognition and physical function. These pilot data will inform a larger study to develop a predictive model of PICS.


© Tracye B. Proffitt

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