Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

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An estimated six to eight million patients are admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) in the United States every year [1, 2]. It is possible that new and innovative medical therapies have provided patients with treatment options that enhance survival of a critical illness and allow them go home with more medical support than previously available in earlier years. This may explain why there are now millions of ICU survivors are a result of declining mortality rates (8-19%) even though there are increased ICU admissions [3, 4]. This also indicates a change in direction of the attitudes and beliefs of the family unit today and their desire for the family member to return home after critical illness instead of moving to a tertiary facility for care.

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Journal of Nursing & Healthcare