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Am J Crit Care ; 31(4): 324-328, 2022 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924393


Intensive care unit follow-up clinics are becoming an increasingly widespread intervention to facilitate the physical, cognitive, psychiatric, and social rehabilitation of survivors of critical illness who have post-intensive care syndrome. Developing and sustaining intensive care unit follow-up clinics can pose significant challenges, and clinics need to be tailored to the physical, personnel, and financial resources available at a given institution. Although no standard recipe guarantees a successful intensive care unit aftercare program, emerging clinics will need to address a common set of hurdles, including securing an adequate space; assembling an invested, multidisciplinary staff; procuring the necessary financial, information technology, and physical stuff; using the proper screening tools to identify patients most likely to benefit and to accurately identify disabilities during the visit; and selling it to colleagues, hospital administrators, and the community at large.

Critical Illness , Intensive Care Units , Aftercare , Critical Care/psychology , Critical Illness/psychology , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Survivors/psychology
Ann Am Thorac Soc ; 19(11): 1900-1906, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1902679


Rationale: There are limited data on the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on intensive care unit (ICU) recovery clinic care delivery practices. Objectives: We sought to better understand the patient-level factors affecting ICU recovery clinic care and changing clinical thinking during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also sought to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic sparked innovation within ICU recovery clinics. Methods: A multicenter qualitative study was conducted with ICU recovery clinic interprofessional clinicians involved with the Critical and Acute Illness Recovery Organization (CAIRO) between February and March 2021. Data were collected using semistructured interviews and were analyzed using thematic analysis. Key themes were organized in a working analytical framework. Results: Twenty-nine participants from 15 international sites participated in the study. Participants identified three patient-level key themes that influenced care delivery in ICU recovery programs: 1) social isolation, 2) decreased emotional reserve in patients and families, and 3) substantial social care needs. Changes in ICU recovery clinic care delivery occurred at both the clinician level (e.g., growing awareness of healthcare disparities and inequities, recognition of financial effects of illness, refinement of communication skills, increased focus on reconstructing the illness narrative) and the practice level (e.g., expansion of care delivery modes, efforts to integrate social care) in response to each of the patient-level themes. Identified gaps in ICU recovery clinic care delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic included a need for multidisciplinary team members, access to care issues (e.g., digital poverty, health insurance coverage, language barriers), and altered family engagement. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that addressing patient-level factors such as efforts to integrate social care, address financial needs, refine provider communication skills (e.g., empathic listening), and enhance focus on reconstructing the illness narrative became important priorities during the ICU recovery clinic visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. We also identified several ongoing gaps in ICU recovery clinic care delivery that highlight the need for interventions focused on the integration of social and clinic services for critical care survivors.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Critical Illness , Intensive Care Units , Qualitative Research , Critical Care/psychology
Critical care explorations ; 4(3), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1738096


OBJECTIVES: The multifaceted long-term impairments resulting from critical illness and COVID-19 require interdisciplinary management approaches in the recovery phase of illness. Operational insights into the structure and process of recovery clinics (RCs) from heterogeneous health systems are needed. This study describes the structure and process characteristics of existing and newly implemented ICU-RCs and COVID-RCs in a subset of large health systems in the United States. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Thirty-nine RCs, representing a combined 156 hospitals within 29 health systems participated. PATIENTS: None. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENT AND MAIN RESULTS: RC demographics, referral criteria, and operating characteristics were collected, including measures used to assess physical, psychologic, and cognitive recoveries. Thirty-nine RC surveys were completed (94% response rate). ICU-RC teams included physicians, pharmacists, social workers, physical therapists, and advanced practice providers. Funding sources for ICU-RCs included clinical billing (n = 20, 77%), volunteer staff support (n = 15, 58%), institutional staff/space support (n = 13, 46%), and grant or foundation funding (n = 3, 12%). Forty-six percent of RCs report patient visit durations of 1 hour or longer. ICU-RC teams reported use of validated scales to assess psychologic recovery (93%), physical recovery (89%), and cognitive recovery (86%) more often in standard visits compared with COVID-RC teams (psychologic, 54%;physical, 69%;and cognitive, 46%). CONCLUSIONS: Operating structures of RCs vary, though almost all describe modest capacity and reliance on volunteerism and discretionary institutional support. ICU- and COVID-RCs in the United States employ varied funding sources and endorse different assessment measures during visits to guide care coordination. Common features include integration of ICU clinicians, interdisciplinary approach, and focus on severe critical illness. The heterogeneity in RC structures and processes contributes to future research on the optimal structure and process to achieve the best postintensive care syndrome and postacute sequelae of COVID outcomes.