Patients' perceptions of an exercise programme delivered following discharge from hospital after critical illness (the Revive Trial)

Kathryn Ferguson, Judy M Bradley, Bronagh Blackwood, Daniel F McAuley, Brenda O'Neill

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Background: The REVIVE RCT investigated the effectiveness of an individually tailored (personalised) exercise programme for patients discharged from hospital after critical illness.By including qualitative methods we aimed to explore patients’ perceptions of engaging in the exercise programme. Methods: Patients were recruited from general intensive care units in six hospitals iNorthern Ireland. Patients allocated to the exercise intervention group were invited to participate in this qualitative study. Independent semi-structured interviews were conducted at six months after randomisation. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and content analysis used to explore themes arising from the data.Results: Of 30 patients allocated to the exercise group 21 completed interviews. Patients provided insight into the physical and mental sequelae they experienced following critical illness. There was a strong sense of patients’ need for the exercise programme and its importance for their recovery following discharge home. Key facilitators of the intervention included supervision, tailoring of the exercises to personal needs, and the exercise manual.Barriers included poor mental health, existing physical limitations and lack of motivation.Patients’ views of outcome measures in the REVIVE RCT varied. Many patients were unsure about what would be the best way of measuring how the programme affected their health.Conclusions: This qualitative study adds an important perspective on patients’ attitude to an exercise intervention following recovery from critical illness, and provides insight into the potential facilitators and barriers to delivery of the programme and how programmes should be evolved for future trials.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Early online date22 Aug 2017
Publication statusEarly online date - 22 Aug 2017
EventBritish Thoracic Society, Winter Meeting - QEII Centre, Westminster, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 07 Dec 201609 Dec 2016


  • Critical Illness
  • exercise


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