Identifying Patients' Support Needs Following Critical Illness

A Scoping Review of the Qualitative Literature

J. King; B. O'Neill; P. Ramsay; M. A. Linden; A. Darweish Medniuk; J. Outtrim; B. Blackwood


Crit Care. 2019;23(187) 

In This Article


We developed a review protocol (Additional file 1) and reported the review according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR).[26] We posed the following review questions: (1) what types of support do patients need following ICU discharge; (2) in what way do support needs differ across the continuum of recovery from ICU discharge to longer-term, community-based recovery?

Search Strategy

We conducted the search using key words formulated for each database [needs assessment, ICU survivorship, critical care, intensive care, qualitative research]. We searched key databases including Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE, EMBASE (see Additional file 1). We limited the search from 2000 to April 2017 to capture contemporary healthcare provision.

We included qualitative research studies conducted with adult ICU patients. The phenomena of interest were patient-reported support needs that included, but were not restricted to, mental, emotional, psychological, cognitive and physical needs and resource needs such as educational and equipment needs. We included studies reporting needs at single or multiple time points after ICU discharge.

Screening, Data Extraction and Analysis

Two reviewers (JK, ML) independently screened titles/abstracts and full-text articles. JK and BB extracted data independently. We identified and extracted themes from eligible studies relevant to the phenomena of interest. Within the themes, we read, extracted and coded data references where authors described patient-reported needs. To ensure consistency of the coding process, data references were coded independently by two sets of three reviewers (JK and BB; JK and PR). Through discussion among the review team, we agreed that we had reached data saturation of themes and relevant codes were categorised into one of the four categories of the Social Support Needs framework and mapped against periods from the TIR framework.[22,23] In keeping with the scoping review framework ethos, we did not apply study quality assessment.[27]