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Neurocognitive function following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A systematic review

Zook, Nancy; Voss, Sarah; Blennow Nordstrom, Erik; Brett, Stephen J; Jenkinson, Elizabeth; Shaw, Pauline; White, Paul; Benger, Jonathan

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Nancy Zook
Associate Professor in Psychology

Sarah Voss
Professor of Emergency and Critical Care

Erik Blennow Nordstrom

Stephen J Brett

Pauline Shaw
Subject Support Librarian: HLS

Paul White
Professor in Applied Statistics

Jonathan Benger


Objectives: The primary aim of this review was to investigate neurocognitive outcomes following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). Specifically, the focus was on identifying the different neurocognitive domains that are assessed, the measures used, and the level of, and criteria for, impairment. Design and review methods: A systematic review of the literature from 2006 to 2021 was completed using Medline, Cinahl and Psychinfo. Criteria for inclusion were studies with participants over the age of 18, OHCA and at least one neurocognitive function measure. Qualitative and case studies were excluded. Reviewers assessed criteria and risk of bias using a modified version of Downs and Black. Results: Forty-three studies were identified. Most studies had a low risk of bias (n = 31) or moderate risk of bias (n = 11) and one had a high risk; however, only six reported effect sizes or power analyses. Multiple measures of neurocognitive outcomes were used (>50) and level of impairment criteria varied considerably. Memory impairments were frequently found and were also more likely to be impaired followed by executive function and processing speed. Discussion: This review highlights the heterogeneity of measures and approaches used to assess neurocognitive outcomes following OHCA as well as the need to improve risk of bias concerning generalizability. Improved understanding of the approaches used for assessment and the subsequent findings will facilitate a standardized evaluation of neurocognitive outcomes following OHCA.


Zook, N., Voss, S., Blennow Nordstrom, E., Brett, S. J., Jenkinson, E., Shaw, P., …Benger, J. (2022). Neurocognitive function following out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A systematic review. Resuscitation, 170, 238-246.

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date Oct 4, 2021
Online Publication Date Oct 11, 2021
Publication Date Jan 1, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 8, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 12, 2022
Journal Resuscitation
Print ISSN 0300-9572
Electronic ISSN 1873-1570
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 170
Pages 238-246
Public URL


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