Inactivity and Symptoms of Post–Intensive Care Syndrome in Older Intensive Care Unit Survivors

Author(s): Maya N. Elias, PhD, MA, RN, Emily A. Ahrens, MS, RN, Chi-Shan Tsai, MSN, RN, Zhan Liang, PhD, RN, and Cindy L. Munro, PhD, RN, ANP-BC

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP B 1.00

Expires Mar 01, 2027

Topics: Delirium

Population: Geriatric

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Older adults (≥age 65) admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) are profoundly inactive during hospitalization. Older ICU survivors often experience life-changing symptoms, including cognitive dysfunction, physical impairment, and/or psychological distress, which are components of post–intensive care syndrome (PICS). The purpose of this article is to explore trends between inactivity and symptoms of PICS in older ICU survivors. Graphs illustrated trends between inactivity and greater symptom severity of PICS: participants who were less active tended to score worse than one standard deviation of the mean on each outcome. Greater daytime activity was concurrently observed with higher performances on cognitive and physical assessments and better scores on psychological measures. It was found that post-ICU inactivity may identify older ICU survivors who may be at risk for PICS and may guide future research interventions to mitigate symptom burden.


  • Define post-intensive care syndrome and its associated subdomains and symptoms.
  • Identify risk factors for post-intensive care syndrome among older adults recovering from critical illness.
  • Describe intra-daily patterns of inactivity that may signal increased risk for developing post-intensive care syndrome.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity, read Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes, and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


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