Re-building life after ICU: a qualitative study of the patients' perspective

Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2012 Apr;28(2):114-22. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2011.11.008. Epub 2012 Mar 3.


Objective: To explore former ICU patients' views on what the key components of a post ICU rehabilitation programme should be.

Research methodology: Thirty five participants completed an online questionnaire accessed via a link to the study from two support groups' websites. Adults (>18 years) who had been patients in ICU were invited to take part. Participants were asked open questions about their ICU experience and their views on ICU rehabilitation. Participants were: aged from 22 to 70 years; from the USA (22), the UK (8), Canada (2), Australia (1) and other (2); 30 female and five male. Findings were analysed using a thematic approach.

Findings: Three themes were identified: 'Information and education', 'Personal support' and 'Assessment and therapy'. Analysis suggested that for participants the aspects of rehabilitation covered by each of the themes were of equal importance.

Conclusion: Healthcare professionals in ICU, acute ward and community settings need to be aware of the broad array of physical and psychological challenges faced by patients who have been critically ill. Healthcare professionals need to ensure a holistic approach is implemented to coordinate and facilitate rehabilitation, to address identified patients' needs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Critical Care / psychology*
  • Critical Illness / psychology*
  • Critical Illness / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Recovery of Function / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Young Adult