Factors Influencing Engagement with in-Person Intensive Care Unit Recovery Clinic Services

J Intensive Care Med. 2023 Apr;38(4):375-381. doi: 10.1177/08850666221127154. Epub 2022 Sep 21.


Background: Intensive Care Unit recovery clinics (ICU-RC), are multidisciplinary outpatient clinics designed to identify and treat post-intensive care syndrome impairments unique to each survivor of critical illness. Engagement is limited, thus we aimed to describe patient- and hospitalization-related sociodemographic factors associated with scheduling and attending in-person ICU-RC visits. Design: Consecutive case series of prospectively collected ICU-RC referral data. Setting: Data was collected over a 9-year period (2012-2020) for patients referred to an ICU-RC from ICUs at an academic medical center in the southeast United States. Participants: 251 adults admitted to a medical, surgical, burn, or trauma ICU referred to the ICU-RC and eligible to be scheduled for a visit. Main Outcome and Measures: The main study outcome was scheduling and completing an ICU-RC visit. Independent variables included patient demographics, ICU visit characteristics (eg, diagnosis, ventilator days), severity of illness, discharge disposition, ICU-RC referral criteria (eg, shock, delirium), and clinic scheduling administrative data (eg, referral date, clinic visit date). Results: Of 251 ICU-RC referrals eligible for a visit, 128 were scheduled, and 91 completed a visit. In univariate models older age, unspecified shock, and distance from the clinic location were associated with decreased in-person ICU-RC engagement. In a multivariable logistic regression using the same predictors and interactions, older age, unspecified shock, and home-to-clinic distance remained as factors decreasing the likelihood of ICU-RC engagement. There was a decreasing likelihood of scheduling and attending an ICU-RC visit for every additional mile of distance the patient lived from the ICU-RC. Male sex was a strong predictor of completing an ICU-RC visit. Conclusions: Older ICU survivors and those who live farther from the clinic site are less likely to engage in an in-person ICU-RC. Innovation and telemedicine strategies are needed to improve access to ICU recovery care for these populations.

Keywords: critical care; follow-up clinic; intensive care unit; multidisciplinary; post-intensive care syndrome (PICS).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male