A web-based recovery program (icutogether) for intensive care survivors: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Medical Internet Research


Journal of Medical Internet Research


School of Nursing and Midwifery




Ewens, B., Myers, H., Whitehead, L., Seaman, K., Sundin, D., & Hendricks, J. (2019). A web-based recovery program (icutogether) for intensive care survivors: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(1). Available here


Background: Those who experience a critical illness or condition requiring admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) frequently experience physical and psychological complications as a direct result of their critical illness or condition and ICU experience. Complications, if left untreated, can affect the quality of life of survivors and impact health care resources. Explorations of potential interventions to reduce the negative impact of an ICU experience have failed to establish an evidence-based intervention. Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the impact of a Web-based intensive care recovery program on the mental well-being of intensive care survivors and to determine if it is a cost-effective approach. Methods: In total, 162 patients that survived an ICU experience will be recruited and randomized into 1 of 2 groups. The intervention group will receive access to the Web-based intensive care recovery program, ICUTogether, 2 weeks after discharge (n=81), and the control group will receive usual care (n=81). Mental well-being will be measured using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, The Impact of Events Scale-Revised and the 5-level 5-dimension EuroQoL at 3 time points (2 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months post discharge). Family support will be measured using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support at 3 time points. Analysis will be conducted on an intention-to-treat basis using regression modeling. Covariates will include baseline outcome measures, study allocation (intervention or control), age, gender, length of ICU stay, APACHE III score, level of family support, and hospital readmissions. Participants’ evaluation of the mobile website will be sought at 12 months postdischarge. A cost utility analysis conducted at 12 months from a societal perspective will consider costs incurred by individuals as well as health care providers. Results: Participant recruitment is currently underway. Recruitment is anticipated to be completed by December 2020. Conclusions: This study will evaluate a novel intervention in a group of ICU survivors. The findings from this study will inform a larger study and wider debate about an appropriate intervention in this population. © Beverley Ewens, Helen Myers, Lisa Whitehead, Karla Seaman, Deborah Sundin, Joyce Hendricks.



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