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Name of Media:

Post-intensive Care Syndrome (PICS): Early Recognition and Evaluation


Patricia J Ohtake, PT, PhD, Alan Chong W. Lee, PT, PhD, DPT, CWS, GCS, Jim
Smith, PT, DPT.

Publisher or Source:

APTA and Academy of Acute Care Physical Therapy

Type of Media:


Media Originally for:

General Public

Country of Origin:

United States

Primary Focus of Media:

Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)

COVID-19 Related:



Over 80% of survivors of critical illness experience post-intensive care syndrome (PICS). PICS is a constellation of physical, cognitive and mental health problems after intensive care including prolonged muscle weakness, reduced performance of activities of daily living, diminished ambulation and strength, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety that persists for months and years. PICS is a relatively recently described syndrome and many physical therapists in acute and sub-acute care, outpatient, and home care settings may not be familiar with the patient presentation, evaluation strategy, and interventions for these individuals. Using evidence from our recent systematic review, this session will characterize the physical impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions experienced by individuals with PICS during their first year following survival of an episode of critical illness. Strategies for outpatient clinic and home-based physical therapy examination and evaluation of this unique patient population will be discussed. Recent clinical trials of interventions for individuals with PICS aimed at reducing physical impairments and restoring functional activity and community participation will be presented. This course will conclude with a discussion of current challenges associated with the evaluation and physical therapy management of individuals with PICS and offer some potential solutions.

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