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      Exercise rehabilitation for patients with critical illness: a randomized controlled trial with 12 months of follow-up

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          The purpose of this trial was to investigate the effectiveness of an exercise rehabilitation program commencing during ICU admission and continuing into the outpatient setting compared with usual care on physical function and health-related quality of life in ICU survivors.


          We conducted a single-center, assessor-blinded, randomized controlled trial. One hundred and fifty participants were stratified and randomized to receive usual care or intervention if they were in the ICU for 5 days or more and had no permanent neurological insult. The intervention group received intensive exercises in the ICU and the ward and as outpatients. Participants were assessed at recruitment, ICU admission, hospital discharge and at 3-, 6- and 12-month follow-up. Physical function was evaluated using the Six-Minute Walk Test (6MWT) (primary outcome), the Timed Up and Go Test and the Physical Function in ICU Test. Patient-reported outcomes were measured using the Short Form 36 Health Survey, version 2 (SF-36v2) and Assessment of Quality of Life (AQoL) Instrument. Data were analyzed using mixed models.


          The a priori enrollment goal was not reached. There were no between-group differences in demographic and hospital data, including acuity and length of acute hospital stay (LOS) (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score: 21 vs 19; hospital LOS: 20 vs 24 days). No significant differences were found for the primary outcome of 6MWT or any other outcomes at 12 months after ICU discharge. However, exploratory analyses showed the rate of change over time and mean between-group differences in 6MWT from first assessment were greater in the intervention group.


          Further research examining the trajectory of improvement with rehabilitation is warranted in this population.

          Trial registration

          The trial was registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12605000776606.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Early intensive care unit mobility therapy in the treatment of acute respiratory failure.

          Immobilization and subsequent weakness are consequences of critical illness. Despite the theoretical advantages of physical therapy to address this problem, it has not been shown that physical therapy initiated in the intensive care unit offers benefit. Prospective cohort study in a university medical intensive care unit that assessed whether a mobility protocol increased the proportion of intensive care unit patients receiving physical therapy vs. usual care. Medical intensive care unit patients with acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation on admission: Protocol, n = 165; Usual Care, n = 165. An intensive care unit Mobility Team (critical care nurse, nursing assistant, physical therapist) initiated the protocol within 48 hrs of mechanical ventilation. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients receiving physical therapy in patients surviving to hospital discharge. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. Outcome data are reflective of survivors. More Protocol patients received at least one physical therapy session than did Usual Care (80% vs. 47%, p < or = .001). Protocol patients were out of bed earlier (5 vs. 11 days, p < or = .001), had therapy initiated more frequently in the intensive care unit (91% vs. 13%, p < or = .001), and had similar low complication rates compared with Usual Care. For Protocol patients, intensive care unit length of stay was 5.5 vs. 6.9 days for Usual Care (p = .025); hospital length of stay for Protocol patients was 11.2 vs. 14.5 days for Usual Care (p = .006) (intensive care unit/hospital length of stay adjusted for body mass index, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II, vasopressor). There were no untoward events during an intensive care unit Mobility session and no cost difference (survivors + nonsurvivors) between the two arms, including Mobility Team costs. A Mobility Team using a mobility protocol initiated earlier physical therapy that was feasible, safe, did not increase costs, and was associated with decreased intensive care unit and hospital length of stay in survivors who received physical therapy during intensive care unit treatment compared with patients who received usual care.
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            Methods for assessing responsiveness: a critical review and recommendations.

            A review of the literature suggests there are two major aspects of responsiveness. We define the first as "internal responsiveness," which characterizes the ability of a measure to change over a prespecified time frame, and the second as "external responsiveness, " which reflects the extent to which change in a measure relates to corresponding change in a reference measure of clinical or health status. The properties and interpretation of commonly used internal and external responsiveness statistics are examined. It is from the interpretation point of view that external responsiveness statistics are considered particularly attractive. The usefulness of regression models for assessing external responsiveness is also highlighted.
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              Symptoms of anxiety and depression in family members of intensive care unit patients: ethical hypothesis regarding decision-making capacity.

              Anxiety and depression may have a major impact on a person's ability to make decisions. Characterization of symptoms that reflect anxiety and depression in family members visiting intensive care patients should be of major relevance to the ethics of involving family members in decision-making, particularly about end-of-life issues. Prospective multicenter study. Forty-three French intensive care units (37 adult and six pediatric); each unit included 15 patients admitted for longer than 2 days. Six hundred thirty-seven patients and 920 family members. Intensive care unit characteristics and data on the patient and family members were collected. Family members completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale to allow evaluation of the prevalence and potential factors associated with symptoms of anxiety and depression. Of 920 Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale questionnaires that were completed by family members, all items were completed in 836 questionnaires, which formed the basis for this study. The prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression in family members was 69.1% and 35.4%, respectively. Symptoms of anxiety or depression were present in 72.7% of family members and 84% of spouses. Factors associated with symptoms of anxiety in a multivariate model included patient-related factors (absence of chronic disease), family-related factors (spouse, female gender, desire for professional psychological help, help being received by general practitioner), and caregiver-related factors (absence of regular physician and nurse meetings, absence of a room used only for meetings with family members). The multivariate model also identified three groups of factors associated with symptoms of depression: patient-related (age), family-related (spouse, female gender, not of French descent), and caregiver-related (no waiting room, perceived contradictions in the information provided by caregivers). More than two-thirds of family members visiting patients in the intensive care unit suffer from symptoms of anxiety or depression. Involvement of anxious or depressed family members in end-of-life decisions should be carefully discussed.

                Author and article information

                Crit Care
                Crit Care
                Critical Care
                BioMed Central
                24 July 2013
                : 17
                : 4
                : R156
                [1 ]Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
                [2 ]Physiotherapy Department, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
                [3 ]Department of Intensive Care, Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia
                [4 ]Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
                [5 ]Cancer Nursing Research Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Melbourne, Australia
                [6 ]Department of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
                [7 ]School of Allied Health, Latrobe University Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
                Copyright © 2013 Denehy et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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