Content » Vol 41, Issue 5

Original report

Functional status after intensive care: A challenge for rehabilitation professionals to improve outcome

Marike van der Schaaf, Anita Beelen, Dave A. Dongelmans, Margreeth B. Vroom, Frans Nollet
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0333


Objective: To examine restrictions in daily functioning from a rehabilitation perspective in patients one year after discharge from the intensive care unit, and to identify prognostic factors for functional status.
Design: Cross-sectional design.
Patients: Consecutive patients who were admitted to the intensive care unit for more than 48 h (n = 255).
Methods: One year after intensive care, functional status (Sickness Impact Profile) as primary outcome, and Quality of Life (SF-36), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale), and post-traumatic stress disorder (Impact of Events Scale) were evaluated.
Results: Fifty-four percent of the patients had restrictions in daily functioning. Walking and social activities were most frequently restricted (30–60% of the patients). Quality of life was lower than the general Dutch population. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were found in 14%, and post-traumatic stress disorder in 18%. Severity of illness at admission and length of stay in the intensive care unit were identified as prognostic factors, although they explained only 10% of functional status.
Conclusion: The high prevalence of long-lasting restrictions in physical, social and psychological functioning among patients who stayed in the intensive care unit for at least 2 days implies that these patients are a potential target population for rehabilitation medicine. Multidisciplinary therapies need to be developed and evaluated in order to improve outcome.

Lay Abstract


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