Objectives: To conduct a scoping review to 1) describe findings and determinants of physical functioning in children during and/or after PICU stay, 2) identify which domains of physical functioning are measured, 3) and synthesize the clinical and research knowledge gaps.
Data Sources: A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and Cochrane Library databases following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines.
Study Selection: Two investigators independently screened and included studies against predetermined criteria.
Data Extraction: One investigator extracted data with review by a second investigator. A narrative analyses approach was used.
Data Synthesis: A total of 2,610 articles were identified, leaving 68 studies for inclusion. Post-PICU/hospital discharge scores show that PICU survivors report difficulties in physical functioning during and years after PICU stay. Although sustained improvements in the long-term have been reported, most of the reported levels were lower compared with the reference and baseline values. Decreased physical functioning was associated with longer hospital stay and presence of comorbidities. A diversity of instruments was used in which mobility and self-care were mostly addressed.
CONCLUSIONS: The results show that children perceive moderate to severe difficulties in physical functioning during and years after PICU stay. Longitudinal assessments during and after PICU stay should be incorporated, especially for children with a higher risk for poor functional outcomes. There is need for consensus on the most suitable methods to assess physical functioning in children admitted to the PICU.