Background: Impaired physical activity and functional ability is a significant problem in critical illness survivors. Measurement of physical functioning through intensive care unit (ICU) stay determines patients at risk of poor physical outcomes, monitors efficacy of intervention, and informs recovery trajectories.
Objectives: Study objective was to assess physical function trajectory and identify residual functional limitations in critically ill patients admitted to ICU at the point of discharge from the hospital using robust clinical measures.
Materials and methods: Following ethical approval, 100 patients (78 males and 22 females) admitted to medical and surgical ICUs were recruited. Scores on Functional Status Score in ICU (FSS-ICU), Physical Function ICU Test (PFIT), and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) were recorded. Day of physiotherapy reference in the ICU was considered as day of ICU admission. Data were collected at three points, namely ICU admission, ICU discharge, and hospital discharge.
Results: Scores on all outcome measures increased linearly, and an upward functional trajectory was observed in patients from the point of ICU admission till hospital discharge (p >0.001).
Conclusion: Deficits in functional recovery exist until hospital discharge, substantiating the need to implement home-based rehabilitation to recover optimum physical function and independence in activities of daily living.
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