Objectives: To establish the evidence for rehabilitation interventions tested in populations of patients admitted to ICU and critical care with severe respiratory illness, and consider whether the evidence is generalizable to patients with COVID-19.
Methods: The authors undertook a rapid systematic review. Medline (via OvidSP), CINAHL Complete (via EBSCOhost), Cochrane Library, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and CENTRAL (via Wiley), Epistemonikos (via Epistemonikos.org), PEDro (via pedro.org.au) and OTseeker (via otseeker.com) searched to 7 May 2020. The authors included systematic reviews, RCTs and qualitative studies involving adults with respiratory illness requiring intensive care who received rehabilitation to enhance or restore resulting physical impairments or function. Data were extracted by one author and checked by a second. TIDier was used to guide intervention descriptions. Study quality was assessed using Critical Skills Appraisal Programme (CASP) tools.
Results: Six thousand nine hundred and three titles and abstracts were screened; 24 systematic reviews, 11 RCTs and eight qualitative studies were included. Progressive exercise programmes, early mobilisation and multicomponent interventions delivered in ICU can improve functional independence. Nutritional supplementation in addition to rehabilitation in post-ICU hospital settings may improve performance of activities of daily living. The evidence for rehabilitation after discharge from hospital following an ICU admission is inconclusive. Those receiving rehabilitation valued it, engendering hope and confidence.
Conclusions: Exercise, early mobilisation and multicomponent programmes may improve recovery following ICU admission for severe respiratory illness that could be generalizable to those with COVID-19. Rehabilitation interventions can bring hope and confidence to individuals but there is a need for an individualised approach and the use of behaviour change strategies. Further research is needed in post-ICU settings and with those who have COVID-19. Registration: Open Science Framework https://osf.io/prc2y.
Keywords: COVID-19; Rehabilitation; Systematic review.
Copyright © 2021 Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.