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Open Access Poor Functional Recovery After a Critical Illness: A Longitudinal Study

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Objective: To determine the time course of functional health status, and to inventory impairments in body functions, limitations in activities, and restrictions in participation after critical illness.

Design: Prospective observational cohort study.

Setting: Mixed medical and surgical closed format; intensive care unit of an academic medical hospital.

Patients: Consecutive patients over a period of 3 months who were ventilated in the intensive care unit for more than 48 h (n=116).

Methods: Functional health status was assessed 3, 6 and 12 months after discharge from the intensive care unit using the Sickness Impact Profile 68. Impairments in function, limitations in activities, and restrictions in participation, classified according to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), were evaluated after 3 and 12 months.

Results: Due to a high mortality rate (48%) and poor health conditions, data could not be obtained from all participants at all measurement points. Physical functioning and social behaviour improved predominantly within the first 6 months, while impaired psychological functioning remained unchanged within one year after discharge from the intensive care unit. After one year, 69% of patients were still restricted in performing daily activities and only 50% had resumed work.

Conclusion: The extent and severity of lasting intensive care unit-related disability necessitates the development of multidisciplinary after-care to improve health status, functional independence and return to work.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine is the international peer-reviewed journal published in English, with at least 10 issues published per year.

    Original articles, reviews, case reports, short communications, special reports and letters to the editor are published, as also are editorials and book reviews. The journal strives to provide its readers with a variety of topics including: functional assessment and intervention studies, clinical studies in various patient groups, methodology in physical and rehabilitation medicine, epidemiological studies on disabling conditions and reports on vocational and sociomedical aspects of rehabilitation.

    The journal is read by a wide group of healthcare professionals including specialists in rehabilitation medicine, neurology, clinical neurophysiology, general medicine, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and social workers.

    Contributions from all parts of the world and from different professions in rehabilitation are welcome.

    ISI Impact Factor 2009: 1.882.

    Owned by Foundation of Rehabilitation Information.

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