Ongoing study - This syndrome, observed in a high proportion of patients after a long stay in intensive care units (ICU), is characterized by physical, cognitive and mental impairments, which occur regardless of the initial critical disease. PICS may then lead to impairment in daily life, inability to go back to work and persistent disability. Risk factors at ICU level include, among others, long duration of mechanical ventilation, deep sedation, prolonged immobility, lack of contacts with family, and interruption of the sleep-wake cycle. These risks are increased in severe COVID-19 patients, as most of them stay a long time in ICU, are sedated and under mechanical ventilation. However, many health care professionals and the population are not aware of this complication.
One part of this study aims at proposing strategies at ICU level in Belgium to reduce the occurrence of PICS among adults (prevention). It assesses the effectiveness of interventions at ICU level in the scientific literature, describes the current situation in the Belgian ICUs and analyses the organisational barriers and facilitators to propose changes that would allow the implementation of these strategies.
Another part aims at providing guidance for GPs and some hospital staff in detecting, informing and possibly referring PICS patients to appropriate care. Besides evaluating the effectiveness of detection tools and care models for PICS-related disorders, it will assess the patient perspective as well.