Background: Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS) is a constellation of new or worsening impairments in physical, mental, or cognitive abilities or a combination of these in individuals who have survived critical illness requiring intensive care.
Purpose: The 2 purposes of this systematic review were to identify the scope and magnitude of physical problems associated with PICS during the first year after critical illness and to use the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) framework to elucidate impairments of body functions and structures, activity limitations, and participation restrictions associated with PICS.
Data sources: Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, CINAHL Plus with Full Text (EBSCO), Web of Science, and Embase were searched from inception until March 7, 2017.
Study selection: Two reviewers screened titles, abstracts, and full text to independently determine study eligibility based on inclusion and exclusion criteria.
Data extraction: Study methodological quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Data describing study methods, design, and participant outcomes were extracted.
Data synthesis: Fifteen studies were eligible for review. Within the first year following critical illness, people who had received intensive care experienced impairments in all 3 domains of the ICF (body functions and structures, activity limitations, and participation restrictions). These impairments included decreased pulmonary function, reduced strength of respiratory and limb muscles, reduced 6-minute walk test distance, reduced ability to perform activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living, and reduced ability to return to driving and paid employment.
Limitations: The inclusion of only 15 observational studies in this review may limit the generalizability of the findings.
Conclusions: During the first year following critical illness, individuals with PICS experienced physical impairments in all 3 domains of the ICF.