PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Sudden out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) can lead to a wide range of psychological symptoms and the long-term outcomes of survivors remains unclear. Furthermore, little is known about the impact of OHCA on the psychosocial functioning of close family members / partners. The current study aimed to investigate and address the longitudinal outcomes of OHCA and its impact on patients and family members’ psychological and functional outcomes.
METHODS: In study one, 18 OHCA survivors and their family member engaged in semi-structured interviews regarding their recovery experience and the impact of the OHCA 12-months post-arrest. Patients also completed measures of depression and anxiety, cognition, and trauma.
RESULTS: Patients reported elevated anxiety and depression levels that they perceived improved across the recovery period. Self-reported cognition levels were affected in a sub-set of survivors. Family members reported persistent trauma and distress symptoms regarding their partner’s OHCA.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients who have experienced OHCA report a range of neurocognitive and psychosocial symptoms which may persist in a subset of survivors. Family members report significant trauma and distress symptoms following OHCA, with little formal intervention or treatment provided.