Effects of early, combined endurance and resistance training in mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients: A randomised controlled trial.

Eggmann, Sabrina; Verra, Martin L.; Luder, Gere; Takala, Jukka; Jakob, Stephan (2018). Effects of early, combined endurance and resistance training in mechanically ventilated, critically ill patients: A randomised controlled trial. PLoS ONE, 13(11), e0207428. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0207428

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INTRODUCTION Neuromuscular weakness resulting in severe functional impairment is common in critical care survivors. This study aimed to evaluate effects of an early progressive rehabilitation intervention in mechanically ventilated adults at risk. METHODS This was a parallel, two-arm, assessor-blinded, randomised controlled trial with 6-months follow-up that was conducted in a mixed ICU of an academic centre in Switzerland. Previously independent, mechanically ventilated, critically ill adults with expected critical care stay ≥72 hours (n = 115) were randomised to a control group receiving standard physiotherapy including early mobilisation or to an experimental group with early endurance and resistance training combined with mobilisation. Primary endpoints were functional capacity (6-Minute Walk Distance) and functional independence (Functional Independence Measure) at hospital discharge. Secondary endpoints including muscle strength were assessed at critical care discharge. Safety was monitored closely by standard monitoring and predefined adverse events. RESULTS Physiotherapy started within 48 hours of critical care admission while 97% of participants were still ventilated and 68% on inotropes. Compared to the control group (n = 57), the experimental group (n = 58) received significantly more physiotherapy (sessions: 407 vs 377, p<0.001; time/session: 25min vs 18min, p<0.001) and had less days with sedation (p<0.001). Adverse events were rare (0.6%) and without consequences. There were no significant between-group differences in 6-Minute Walk Distance (experimental 123m (IQR 25-280) vs control 100m (IQR 0-300); p = 0.542) or functional independence (98 (IQR 66-119) vs 98 (IQR 18-115); p = 0.308). Likewise, no differences were found for the secondary outcomes, except a trend towards improved mental health in the experimental group after 6 months (84 (IQR 68-88) vs 70 (IQR 64-76); p = 0.023). CONCLUSIONS Early endurance and resistance training in mechanically ventilated, intensive care patients does not improve functional capacity or independence at hospital discharge compared to early standard physiotherapy but may improve mental health 6-months after critical care discharge. TRIAL REGISTRATION German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS): DRKS00004347, registered on 10 September 2012.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic of Intensive Care

UniBE Contributor:

Verra, Martin; Takala, Jukka and Jakob, Stephan


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Public Library of Science




Mirella Aeberhard

Date Deposited:

05 Feb 2019 14:29

Last Modified:

28 Oct 2019 19:13

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Sabrina Eggmann arbeitete für die Studie, welche an der Universitätsklinik für Intensivmedizin gemacht wurde.





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