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Statement of the Problem: Critically ill patients are greatly suffering. They are at a vulnerable period of their lives. Becoming a
patient in the intensive care unit represents a considerable crisis which increase the like hood to ICU acquired complications such
as impaired physical, cognitive and mental well-being. Therefore, it is essential to start rehabilitation while patients are still in ICU,
with the emphasis on prevention, early treatment and information-giving to patients and their families. Rehabilitation nursing begins
with immediate preventive care in the first stage of illness. It is continued through the restorative stage of care and involves adaptation
of the whole being to new life to reduce the burden of illness, injury and disability and to improve health and functional status. The
purpose of this study is to identify barriers in the provision of early and sustained rehabilitation within ICUs.
Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Two tools were used for data collection. Tool one titled as barriers of early/sustained
rehabilitation structured questionnaire and tool two titled as self-report of the rehabilitation practices for critically ill patients.
Findings: Institution related barriers constitute the highest percentage that hinders the early rehabilitation in ICUs. However, more
than three-quarters of the studied critical care nurses practice respiratory rehabilitation (80%) in the form of airway management and
respiratory exercise regimen.
Conclusion & Significance: Institution, health care providers related barriers are among the barriers that hinder the implementation
of structured rehabilitation programs in the critically ill patients. Recommendations are made for developing models to predict
adverse events in specific intensive care units acquired impairments and designing rehabilitation service, programs and protocols in
intensive care units.
Fatma Refaat Ahmed has completed her MSc and PhD from Alexandria University. She is a Lecturer of Critical Care and Emergency Nursing department, Faculty of Nursing-Alexandria University. She is certified by European Resuscitation Council by 2014 for Advanced Life Support (valid to 2017) and European Trauma Course (valid to 2019). She has participated in more than 11 national and international conferences. She has published more than 2 papers in reputed journals. She has been serving in preparing more than 5 editions of Critical Care Nursing and Emergency Care Manual.
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