Post Hospital Discharge Functional Recovery of Critical Illness Survivors. Systematic Review

DOI: 10.2478/jccm-2023-0011

Background: Millions of people face critical illnesses and need to be hospitalized in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) annually worldwide. Despite the fact that survival rates of these patients have increased, they develop various cognitive, psychological and functional impairments. This study aims to investigate the significance of the recovery interventions following intensive care unit discharge, the effectiveness of the rehabilitative protocols and their possible deficits.
Methods: MEDLINE (PubMed) and Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) were searched for studies analyzing the recovery potentials post-ICU among adults, who spent at least 48 hours at the ICU. Methodological quality of the studies was assessed via PEDro Scale.
Results: Nine randomized controlled trials were included. These took place mainly at specialized rehabilitation gyms as well as patients home environments. Studies analyses showed that treatment group showed improvement in functional ability in relation to control group. Nevertheless, differences between two groups were not statistically significant (P<0.05). The majority of studies assessed cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength.
Conclusions: The included rehabilitation programs were determined to be effective. Although they didn’t prove any statistically significant difference between groups, quality of life enhancements and stress reduction were reported. Hence, new randomized controlled trials are required in order to provide more accurate data on the potential benefits of rehabilitation strategies among post-ICU patients.

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