Exercise rehabilitation following discharge from ICU of adult survivors of critical illness

Added April 19, 2020

Citation: Connolly B, Salisbury L, O’Neill B, et al. Exercise rehabilitation following intensive care unit discharge for recovery from critical illness. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2015; (3): CD008632

What is this? Some patients with COVID-19 will become critically ill and need treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU) and may require mechanical ventilation (MV). A variety of exercise-based interventions might be initiated after they leave the ICU to try to aid their recovery.

In this Cochrane systematic review, the authors searched for research evaluating exercise interventions initiated after ICU discharge for adult survivors of critical illness who had received MV lasting at least 24 hours. They did not restrict their search by type or language of publication, did their main search in May 2014 and re-ran it in February 2015. They included six randomized trials (one of which used minimization) (total: 483 participants) of exercise-based interventions delivered on the ward alone (2 studies), both on the ward and in the community (1) and in the community alone (3). They also found 3 ongoing trials and their 2015 search identified 3 studies that are awaiting classification.

What works: Nothing noted.

What doesn’t work: Nothing noted.

What’s uncertain: Although exercise rehabilitation started after a patient is discharged from ICU may improve their functional exercise capacity, the overall effects of exercise-based interventions initiated after ICU discharge for survivors of critical illness are uncertain.


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