: Survival has been considered the cornerstone for clinical outcome evaluation in critically ill patients admitted to intensive care unit (ICU). There is evidence that ICU survivors commonly show impairments in long-term outcomes such as quality of life (QoL) considering them as the most relevant ones. In the last years, the concept of patient-important outcomes has been introduced and increasingly reported in peer-reviewed publications. In the present systematic review, we evaluated how many randomized controlled trials (RCTs) were conducted on critically ill patients and reporting a benefit on survival reported also data on QoL. All RCTs investigating nonsurgical interventions that significantly reduced mortality in critically ill patients were searched on MEDLINE/PubMed, Scopus and Embase from inception until August 2021. In a second stage, for all the included studies, the outcome QoL was investigated. The primary outcome was to evaluate how many RCTs analyzing interventions reducing mortality reported also data on QoL. The secondary endpoint was to investigate if QoL resulted improved, worsened or not modified. Data on QoL were reported as evaluated outcome in 7 of the 239 studies (2.9%). The tools to evaluate QoL and QoL time points were heterogeneous. Four interventions showed a significant impact on QoL: Two interventions improved survival and QoL (pravastatin in subarachnoid hemorrhage, dexmedetomidine in elderly patients after noncardiac surgery), while two interventions reduced mortality but negatively influenced QoL (caloric restriction in patients with refeeding syndrome and systematic ICU admission in elderly patients). In conclusion, only a minority of RCTs in which an intervention demonstrated to affect mortality in critically ill patients reported also data on QoL. Future research in critical care should include patient-important outcomes like QoL besides mortality. Data on this topic should be collected in conformity with PROs statement and core outcome sets to guarantee quality and comparability of results.
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