Background: Research confirms the heterogeneous nature of patient challenges during recovery from the ICU and supports the need for modifying care experiences, but few data are available to guide clinicians seeking to support patients' individual recovery trajectories.
Research question: What is the content of patient-provider dialogues in a telemedicine multidisciplinary ICU recovery clinic (ICU-RC)?
Study design and methods: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study in a telemedicine multidisciplinary ICU-RC at a tertiary academic medical center in the southeastern United States. The sample included 19 patients and 13 caregivers (≥ 18 years of age) attending a telemedicine ICU-RC visit after critical illness resulting from septic shock or ARDS. Patients and caregivers met with an ICU pharmacist, ICU physician, and a psychologist via a secure web-conferencing platform for 33 ICU-RC visits within 12 weeks of hospital discharge. Telemedicine ICU-RC visits were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim for analysis. A coding system was developed using iterative inductive and deductive approaches.
Results: Two themes were identified from the patient-provider dialogue: (1) problem identification and (2) problem-solving strategies. We identified five subthemes that capture the types of problems identified: health status, mental health and cognition, medication management, health-care access and navigation, and quality of life. Problem-solving subthemes included facilitating care coordination and transitions, providing education, and giving constructive feedback and guidance.
Interpretation: Patients surviving a critical illness experience a complexity of problems that may be addressed best by a multidisciplinary ICU-RC. Through analysis of our telemedicine ICU-RC dialogues, we were able to identify problems and solutions to address challenges during a critical transitional phase of ICU recovery.
Trial registry: ClinicalTrials.gov; No.: NCT03926533; URL: www.
Keywords: ICU; critical care; follow-up clinic; multidisciplinary; post-ICU clinic; post-intensive care syndrome; recovery.
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