Background: Follow-up for heterogeneous intensive care patients presents challenges for rehabilitation interventions and outcome measurements. The aim was to describe and explore characteristics and determinants for visiting/not visiting a nurse-led clinic (NLC) at different time-points, and to describe physical and mental health (HRQoL) over time. Methods: Patients with a length of stay (LOS) of ≥72 hours, discharged from a general intensive care unit 2004-2014, who participated in a 6-month follow-up programme offering visits to NLC at 2 and 6 months were included. The register study includes information regarding patients’ participation in NLC, clinical and demographic data from the Patient Administrative System within Intensive care, and data on 2-, 6- and 12-month HRQoL by using SF-36 from the Swedish Intensive Care Registry. Results: Of 656 patients, 57% visited the NLC on some occasion. These patients were younger (P =.000), had lower Simplified Acute Physiology scores (P =.001) and higher SF-36 physical health domain scores at 2 months (P <.05) compared to those not visiting at all. Visitors at 2 months only were younger, had shorter LOS and higher physical and mental domain scores than patients visiting at 6 months only. Patients visiting the NLC scored significantly higher in all domains from 2 to 12 months, whereas non-visiting-patients’ did this in four out of eight domains during the same time frame. Conclusion: Individual patient's characteristics and current health conditions seem to influence visits to NLC or not. The findings may contribute to the development of existing routines to match the diversity of patients’ needs and life situations.
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