Survivors of septic shock caused by Neisseria meningitidis in childhood: psychosocial outcomes in young adulthood

Lindy C. Vermunt, Corinne M. Buysse, Koen F. Joosten, Hugo J. Duivenvoorden, Jan A. Hazelzet, Frank C. Verhulst, Elisabeth M. Utens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle*Academicpeer-review


To investigate long-term psychosocial outcomes in young adults who survived septic shock caused by Neisseria meningitidis (meningococcal septic shock) during childhood. A cross-sectional study. The psychological investigation took place in the department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry of the Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital. All consecutive surviving patients with meningococcal septic shock requiring intensive care treatment at the pediatric intensive care unit between 1988 and 2001. To explore biographical characteristics (such as living conditions, educational, occupational, and marital status) and illness-related physical or social consequences a structured interview was used. To assess intellectual functioning the Groninger Intelligence Test 2 was used and to assess behavioral/emotional problems, the Adult Self-Report was used. Fifty-eight of 83 eligible septic shock survivors were evaluated (response rate: 70%). The patients were 16-31 yrs old at time of follow-up (median age: 21 yrs old). These patients had had meningococcal septic shock before 18 yrs of age. Median follow-up interval was 13 yrs, with a range of 4 to 16 yrs. For the vast majority of meningococcal septic shock patients, outcomes on biographical characteristics, intellectual functioning, and levels of behavioral/emotional problems were comparable to those of reference groups. A minority (5% to 20%) still report illness-related physical or social consequences, behavioral and emotional problems, and lower intellectual functioning. Despite favorable outcomes for the majority of meningococcal septic shock patients in the long term, an important minority (5% to 20%) still struggles with ongoing problems as to behavioral/emotional problems, intellectual functioning, biographical characteristics, and illness-related physical or social consequences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e302-e309
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Cite this