What is the purpose of the study?
Patients in intensive care need a great deal of special care and support as they are very ill. This often includes some time spent on a breathing machine or oxygen. When patients leave hospital, their muscles are often still weak and their ability to exercise and to do everyday things may still be affected. They also can feel very upset, with flashbacks to what happened, and confused memories of their time in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Patients need rehabilitation (support and exercises) when they are home but in most areas in the UK there is no organised rehabilitation offered to patients after discharge home following critical illness. We need to find out if a rehabilitation programme will help patients following intensive care who are discharged from hospital. This research will test a 6-week remote rehabilitation programme.
What happens to the patients taking part in the study?
We will include patients (n=428) who have gone home from hospital after critical illness. The 6-week remote rehabilitation programme will be run by a trained healthcare team, who understand critical illness and its after-effects. In our previous research studies, patients helped us to identify what should be included in a rehabilitation programme. It will be based on what the patients’ needs are, with additional help from online computer-based materials that include information, exercise and strategies to promote recovery. If
a person does not have a computer we can provide a Tablet (portable computer like device), or we can provide the information to them by post. A member of the healthcare team will speak to every individual patient by phone on a weekly basis. They will provide guidance about how to manage symptoms. They will also provide information about what happened and what to expect next during recovery.
In this study we will compare the quality of life, physical strength, and emotional wellbeing of the patients who take part in the rehabilitation programme with the patients who do not. We will also ask patients about their tiredness, views about illness, and anxiety levels. This information will be collected at 6 weeks and at 6 months by researchers not involved in the rehabilitation. Additionally, we will be looking at value for money.
We have a large, experienced team of people guiding this study. They include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietetics, speech and language therapy, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, health economists, statisticians, former patients, and others who have expertise in the study methods. Together they will ensure that the trial runs smoothly, safely, and finishes on time.
Please direct all enquiries to the iRehab team;
Kerry Raynes: Trial Manager
Raegan Barrows, Trial Manager
Louisa Edwards, Trial Coordinator
Katherine Jones, Research Fellow