Strategies for post ICU rehabilitation

Curr Opin Crit Care. 2012 Oct;18(5):503-8. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0b013e328357f064.


Purpose of review: As numbers of patients who survive a critical illness increase, often within a context of comorbidities and acquired physical, mental or cognitive sequelae [postintensive care syndrome (PICS)], identifying effective recovery and rehabilitation strategies is paramount. In this review, we discuss recent studies that inform our developing understanding for improving the recovery trajectory for survivors of a critical illness during the postintensive care and posthospital periods.

Recent findings: New studies, although at this stage often presented as pilot work, provide important beginning messages for improving recovery from a critical illness. Some pilot studies demonstrate promise of effective interventions, whereas other studies offer useful baseline information for improving the power of tested interventions.

Summary: Innovative rehabilitation and recovery strategies during the postintensive care and posthospital periods are now being published. Further research with larger sample sizes, well-documented usual care and intervention arms and in different critical illness cohorts is required to demonstrate the optimal approaches for screening, implementation, outcome assessment and follow-up periods for rehabilitation interventions in the postintensive care phase of a patient's recovery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Continuity of Patient Care*
  • Critical Illness / rehabilitation*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Mental Health
  • Muscle Weakness / etiology*
  • Risk
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome*