Developing user centred critical care discharge information to support early critical illness rehabilitation using the Medical Research Council's complex interventions framework

Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2012 Apr;28(2):123-31. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Mar 3.


Objectives: This paper reports on an intervention designed during an ongoing two phase project aimed at improving early critical illness rehabilitation. It focuses specifically on the justification for a newly developed critical care discharge information pack: 'User Centred Critical Care Discharge Information Pack' (UCCDIP). The intervention is described in detail and the chosen research methods are discussed.

Background: Discharge from critical care to a ward is a difficult time for patients and relatives. Research suggests that effective information has the potential to reduce relocation stress and optimise recovery.

Methods: Using the Medical Research Council framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions, a phase I focus group study and collaboration with service users/carers informed the development of a new critical care discharge information pack, currently being evaluated in a phase II Randomised Controlled Trial.

Conclusion: UCCDIP acknowledges the patients' need to understand what they have been through and the progress they have made. It provides for the different information needs of patients and relatives, recognising their physical and psychological vulnerability. Through its use of reflection and participation, UCCDIP has the potential to optimise support of adult patients and their families during early critical illness rehabilitation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Critical Illness / psychology*
  • Critical Illness / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*