Centre for Applied Research on Social Sciences and Law

Feasibility of a home-based interdisciplinary rehabilitation program for patients with Post-Intensive Care Syndrome: the REACH study


<b>Background</b><br/>Survivors of critical illness experience long-term functional challenges, which are complex, heterogeneous, and multifactorial in nature. Although the importance of rehabilitation interventions after intensive care unit (ICU) discharge is universally recognized, evidence on feasibility and effectiveness of home-based rehabilitation programs is scarce and ambiguous. This study investigates the feasibility of an interdisciplinary rehabilitation program designed for patients with Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) who are discharged home.<br/><b>Methods</b><br/>A mixed method, non-randomized, prospective pilot feasibility study was performed with a 6-month follow-up, comparing the intervention (REACH) with usual care. REACH was provided by trained professionals and included a patient-centered, interdisciplinary approach starting directly after hospital discharge. Primary outcomes were patient safety, satisfaction, adherence, referral need and health care usage. Secondary outcomes, measured at 3 timepoints, were functional exercise capacity, self-perceived health status, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), return to work and psychotrauma. Risk of undernutrition was assessed at baseline.<br/><b>Results</b><b><br/></b>43 patients with a median mechanical ventilation duration of 8 (IQR:10) days, were included in the study and 79.1% completed 6-month follow-up. 19 patients received the intervention, 23 received usual care. Groups were similar for gender distribution and ICU length of stay. No adverse events occurred. REACH participants showed higher satisfaction with treatment and reported more allied health professional visits, while the usual care group reported more visits to medical specialists. Qualitative analysis identified positive experiences among REACH-professionals related to providing state-of-the-art interventions and sharing knowledge and expertise within an interprofessional network. Similar recovery was seen between groups on all secondary outcomes, but neither group reached reference values for HRQoL at 6 months. Larger return to work rates were seen in the REACH group. Prevalence of undernutrition at hospital discharge was high in both groups (>‚ÄČ80%), warranting the need for careful tuning of physical therapy and nutritional interventions.<br/><b>Conclusions</b><br/>This study shows that providing early, home-based rehabilitation interventions for patients with PICS-related symptoms is feasible and perceived positively by patients and professionals. When provided in an interdisciplinary collaborative network state of the art, person-centered interventions can be tailored to individual needs potentially increasing patient satisfaction, adherence, and efficacy.<br/><br/>Registered in the Dutch Trial register: NL7792: https://www.trialregister.nl/trial/7792, registered 7-06-2019.

Reference Major, M. E., Dettling-Ihnenfeldt, D., Ramaekers, S. P. J., Engelbert, R. H. H., & van der Schaaf, M. (2021). Feasibility of a home-based interdisciplinary rehabilitation program for patients with Post-Intensive Care Syndrome: the REACH study. Critical Care, 25, Article 279. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13054-021-03709-z
Published by  Urban Vitality 1 January 2021

Publication date

Jan 2021


Mel E. Major
Daniela Dettling-Ihnenfeldt


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