Physiotherapy in Intensive Care. An Updated Systematic Review.
Chest. 2013 May 30;
Authors: Stiller K
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Although physiotherapy is frequently provided to Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients, its role has been questioned. The purpose of this systematic literature review, an update of one published in 2000, was to examine the evidence concerning the effectiveness of physiotherapy for adult, intubated, mechanically ventilated ICU patients. METHODS: The main literature search was undertaken on PubMed, with secondary searches of MEDLINE, CINAHL, Embase, the Cochrane Library and PEDro. Only papers published from 1999 were included. No limitations were placed on study design, intervention type or outcomes of clinical studies; non-systematic reviews were excluded. Items were checked for relevance and data extracted from included studies. Marked heterogeneity of design precluded statistical pooling of results and led to a descriptive review. RESULTS: 55 clinical and 30 non-clinical studies were reviewed. The evidence from randomized controlled trials evaluating the effectiveness of routine multimodality respiratory physiotherapy is conflicting. Physiotherapy that comprises early progressive mobilization has been shown to be feasible and safe, with randomized controlled trials demonstrating that it can improve function and shorten ICU and hospital length of stay. CONCLUSIONS: Available new evidence, published since 1999, suggests that physiotherapy intervention that comprises early progressive mobilization is beneficial for adult ICU patients in terms of its positive effect on functional ability, and its potential to reduce ICU and hospital length of stay. These new findings suggest that early progressive mobilization should be implemented as a matter of priority in all adult ICUs and an area of clinical focus for ICU physiotherapists.
PMID: 23722822 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]