Barriers and facilitators to resuming meaningful daily activities among critical illness survivors in the UK: a qualitative content analysis

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BMJ Open. 2022 Apr 26;12(4):e050592. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050592.


OBJECTIVE: To identify critical illness survivors’ perceived barriers and facilitators to resuming performance of meaningful activities when transitioning from hospital to home.

DESIGN: Secondary content analysis of semistructured interviews about patients’ experiences of intensive care (primary analysis disseminated on the patient-facing website Two coders characterised patient-perceived barriers and facilitators to resuming meaningful activities. To facilitate clinical application, we mapped the codes onto the Person-Task-Environment model of performance, a patient-centred rehabilitation model that characterises complex interactions among the person, task and environment when performing activities.

SETTING: United Kingdom, 2005-2006.

PARTICIPANTS: 39 adult critical illness survivors, sampled for variation among demographics and illness experiences.

RESULTS: Person-related barriers included negative mood or affect, perceived setbacks; weakness or limited endurance; pain or discomfort; inadequate nutrition or hydration; poor concentration/confusion; disordered sleep/hallucinations/nightmares; mistrust of people or information; and altered appearance. Task-related barriers included miscommunication and managing conflicting priorities. Environment-related barriers included non-supportive health services and policies; challenging social attitudes; incompatible patient-family coping (emotional trauma and physical disability); equipment problems; overstimulation; understimulation; and environmental inaccessibility. Person-related facilitators included motivation or attitude; experiencing progress; and religion or spirituality. Task-related facilitators included communication. Environment-related facilitators included support from family, friends or healthcare providers; supportive health services and policies; equipment; community resources; medications; and accessible housing. Barriers decreased and facilitators increased over time. Six barrier-facilitator domains dominated based on frequency and emphasis across all performance goals: mood/motivation, setbacks/progress, fatiguability/strength; mis/communication; lack/community support; lack/health services and policies.

CONCLUSIONS: Critical illness survivors described a comprehensive inventory of 18 barriers and 11 facilitators that align with the Person-Task-Environment model of performance. Six dominant barrier-facilitator domains seem strong targets for impactful interventions. These results verify previous knowledge and offer novel opportunities for optimising patient-centred care and reducing disability after critical illness.

PMID:35473739 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2021-050592