Document Type


Publication Date




Source Publication

Journal of Advanced Nursing

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1111/jan.14729



To understand barriers and facilitators of recovery for critical illness survivors’, who are discharged home from the hospital and do not have access to dedicated outpatient care.


Multi-site descriptive study guided by interpretive phenomenology using semi-structured interviews.


Interviews were conducted between December 2017 -July 2018. Eighteen participants were included. Data were collected from interview recordings, transcripts, field notes, and a retrospective chart review for sample demographics. Analysis was completed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis which provided a unique view of recovery through the survivors’ personal experiences and perception of those experiences.


Participants encountered several barriers to their recovery; however, they were resilient and initiated ways to overcome these barriers and assist with their recovery. Facilitators of recovery experienced by survivors included seeking support from family and friends, lifestyle adaptations, and creative management of their multiple medical needs. Barriers included unmet needs experienced by survivors such as mental health issues, coordination of care, and spiritual needs. These unmet needs left participants feeling unsupported from healthcare providers during their recovery.


This study highlights important barriers and facilitators experienced by critical illness survivors during recovery that need be addressed by healthcare providers. New ways to support critical illness survivors, that can reach a broader population, must be developed and evaluated to support survivors during their recovery in the community.


This study addressed ICU survivors’ barriers and facilitators to recovery. Participants encountered several barriers to recovery at home, such as physical, cognitive, psychosocial, financial, and transportation barriers, however, these survivors were also resilient and resourceful in the development of strategies to try to manage their recovery at home. These results will help healthcare providers develop interventions to better support ICU survivors in the community.


Accepted version. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 77, No. 4 (April 2021): 1867-1877. DOI. © John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Used with permission.

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