Patients who are critically ill and admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) are at risk of deconditioning. They can develop impairments in the cognitive, psychological and physical domain, which can remain long after discharge from the ICU. Physiotherapists aim to prevent and decrease this deconditioning by early mobilisation and treating prolonged physical impairments in ICU rehabilitation. In order to gain a richer understanding of the value of physiotherapy we studied this setting from the first-person illness using empirical phenomenological research methods. By uncovering lifeworld dimensions, physiotherapists may now ‘see’ things they earlier took for granted. Through rich thematic descriptions of the illness perspective, we facilitated perspective-taking for healthcare professionals which may lead to person-centred rehabilitation care and improved patient experiences.
Roel van Oorsouw (1987) graduated in 2008 as physiotherapist. He worked as hospital-based physiotherapist in the Anna Ziekenhuis, and since 2016 in the Radboudumc. In 2019 Roel started a PhD trajectory with the overall goal to increase the quality of physiotherapy care for critically ill patients. Roel will continue his clinical work in combination with research projects and teaching activities.