Turkish Thoracic Journal
Original Article

Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Implementation in Intensive Care Units: A Survey Study


Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Hacettepe University, School of Health Sciences, Ankara, Turkey


Dokuz Eylül University, School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, İzmir, Turkey

Turk Thorac J 2019; 20: 114-119
DOI: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2018.18107
Read: 590 Downloads: 115 Published: 18 July 2019


OBJECTIVES: Physiotherapy in the intensive care unit (ICU) improves patient outcomes. We aimed to determine the characteristics of physiotherapy practice and critical barriers toward applying physiotherapy in ICUs.


MATERIALS AND METHODS: A 54-item survey for determining the characteristics of physiotherapists and physiotherapy applications in the ICU was developed. The survey was electronically sent to potential participants through Turkish Physiotherapy Association network. Sixty-five physiotherapists (47F and 18M; 23–52 years; ICU experience: 6.0±6.2 years) completed the survey. The data were analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods.


RESULTS: The duration of ICU practice was 3.51±2.10 h/day. Positioning (90.8%), active exercises (90.8%), breathing exercises (89.2%), passive exercises (87.7%), and percussion (87.7%) were the most commonly used applications. The barriers were related to physiotherapist (low level of employment and practice, lack of shift); patient (unwillingness, instability, participation restriction); teamwork (lack of awareness and communication); equipment (inadequacy, non-priority to purchase); and legal (reimbursement, lack of direct physiotherapy access, non-recognition of autonomy) procedures.


CONCLUSION: The most common interventions were positioning, active, passive, and breathing exercises and percussion. Critical barriers toward physiotherapy are multifactorial and related to physiotherapists, patients, team, equipment, and legal procedures. Physiotherapist employment, service maintenance, and multidisciplinary teamwork should be considered for physiotherapy effectiveness in ICUs.


Cite this article as: Çakmak A, İnal İnce D, Sağlam M, et al. Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Implementation in Intensive Care Units: A Survey Study. Turk Thorac J 2019; 20(2): 114-9.

EISSN 2149-2530