Patients’ perspectives of recovery after COVID-19 critical illness; an interview study

Journal article


Bench, S., Thomas, N. and James, A. (2022). Patients’ perspectives of recovery after COVID-19 critical illness; an interview study. Nursing in Critical Care. https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12867
AuthorsBench, S., Thomas, N. and James, A.
Abstract

Background
Critical illness is a traumatic experience, often resulting in post intensive care syndrome, affecting people’s physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being. The early recovery period is associated with increased risk, negatively impacting longer-term outcomes.
Aims
The aims of this study were to understand the recovery and rehabilitation needs of people who survive a COVID-19 critical illness. Objectives were to:
• Describe survivors’ experiences of COVID-19 critical illness
• Identify survivors' perspectives on the support required to optimise rehabilitation and recovery
• Determine the extent to which findings align with those of other critical illnesses survivors.
Design and Methods
An exploratory descriptive qualitative interview study with 20 survivors of COVID-19 critical illness from two community-based healthcare settings in London, England. Data collection took place September 2020-April 2021, at least one month after hospital discharge by telephone or virtual platform. Data were subjected to a standard process of thematic analysis and mapped to the three core concepts of self-determination theory: autonomy, competence and relatedness.
Findings
Three key themes emerged: traumatic experience, human connection and navigating a complex system. Participants described how societal restrictions, fear and communication problems caused by the pandemic added to their trauma and the challenge of recovery. The importance of positive human connections, timely information and support to navigate the system was emphasised.
Conclusions
Whilst findings to some extent mirror those of other qualitative pre-pandemic studies, our findings highlight how the uncertainty and instability caused by the pandemic adds to the challenge of recovery affecting all core concepts of self-determination (autonomy, competence, relatedness).
Relevance to clinical practice
Understanding survivors’ perspectives of rehabilitation needs following COVID-19 critical illness is vital to delivery safe, high-quality care. To optimise chances of effective recovery, survivors desire a specialist, co-ordinated and personalised recovery pathway, which reflects humanised care. This should be considered when planning future service provision.

KeywordsCritical illness; COVID-19; Rehabilitation; Qualitative; Interviews
Year2022
JournalNursing in Critical Care
PublisherWiley
ISSN1478-5153
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12867
Publication dates
Print21 Dec 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted17 Nov 2022
Deposited25 Nov 2022
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Open
Additional information

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Patients’ perspectives of recovery after COVID-19 critical illness; an interview study, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/nicc.12867. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

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