ICU-based rehabilitation and its appropriate metrics

Rik Gosselink, Dale Needham, Greet Hermans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Survival of critically ill patients is frequently associated with significant functional impairment and reduced health-related quality of life. Early rehabilitation of ICU patients has recently been identified as an important focus for interdisciplinary ICU teams. However, the amount of rehabilitation performed in ICUs is often inadequate. The scope of the review is to discuss recent developments in application of assessment tools and rehabilitation in critically ill patients within an interdisciplinary approach. Recent findings ICU-based rehabilitation has become an important evidence-based component in the management of patients with critical illness. The assessment and evidence-based treatment of these patients should include a focus on prevention and treatment of deconditioning (muscle weakness, joint stiffness, impaired functional performance) and weaning failure (respiratory muscle weakness) to identify targets for rehabilitation. A variety of modalities for assessment and early ICU rehabilitation are supported by emerging clinical research and must be implemented according to the stage of critical illness, comorbidities, and consciousness and cooperation of the patient. Summary Daily evaluation of every critically ill patient should include evaluation of the need for bedrest and immobility, and assessment of the potential for early rehabilitation interventions. Early ICU rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary team responsibility, involving physical therapists, occupational therapists, nurses and medical staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Assessment
  • Exercise
  • Intensive care
  • Mobilization
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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