Purpose of the review: Intensive care unit (ICU) survivorship has gained significant attention over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this review, we summarize the contemporary literature in relation to the epidemiology and management of post-ICU problems. Recent findings: Survivors of critical illness can have complex physical, social, emotional and cognitive needs in the months following hospital discharge. Emerging evidence has shown that pre-ICU characteristics such as educational attainment, alongside in-ICU factors such as delirium, may contribute to worsening outcomes. Evidence regarding the impact of post-ICU recovery services is evolving, but models such as post-ICU clinics and peer support programs are gaining rapid momentum. Summary: Future research should focus on modifiable risk factors and how identification and treatment of these can improve outcomes. Furthermore, rigorous evaluation of postacute critical care recovery services is necessary.


This content is not covered by the Open Government Licence. Please see source record or item for information on rights and permissions.

Cite as

McPeake, J., Sevin, C. & Mikkelsen, M. 2021, 'Functional outcomes following critical illness: epidemiology, current management strategies and the future priorities', Current Opinion in Critical Care, 27(5), pp. 506-512. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCC.0000000000000856

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 01 October 2022
Was this page helpful?