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Developing and testing a strategy to address Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS)


1st supervisor: Prof Leanne Aitken

Research centre

Health Services Research

Project description

There is evidence that survivors of critical illness experience a range of challenges after discharge home, with between one quarter and half of all survivors experiencing compromise in one or more areas of physical, cognitive and psychological function. The problems associated with recovery after critical illness are now referred to as Post Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). Over the past 15 years there has been a range of studies conducted to better understand the challenges associated with recovery, and to test potential interventions. Despite this, few effective interventions have been identified.

The proposed PhD project will be tailored to the specific interest and expertise of the successful applicant, but will focus on developing or adapting an intervention to address either physical, cognitive or psychological compromise in critical illness survivors. The package of work undertaken will incorporate a systematic review of relevant evidence to date, or alternatively exploration of the theoretical underpinnings of possible interventions if nothing related has been tested, followed by development of an appropriate intervention. Depending on the extent of development that is required, a final phase of the PhD focusing on feasibility or acceptability testing may also be undertaken.

The successful PhD applicant for this project will ideally have knowledge of care provided to critically ill patients, or alternatively, knowledge of physical, cognitive or psychological interventions that might be delivered to critical illness survivors and therefore might be from a range of health care disciplines such as nursing, physiotherapy, social work, psychology, occupational therapy.

If you would like to have an informal discussion please contact Leanne.Aitken.1@city.ac.uk.