Effects of early cognitive rehabilitation training on cognitive function and quality of life in critically ill patients with cognitive impairment: A randomised controlled trial

Published:December 02, 2022DOI:



      Patients often develop cognitive dysfunction during admission to the ICU and after being transferred out of the ICU, which leads to physical disorders, sleep disorders, and psychological stress.Cognitive rehabilitation training can significantly improve patients' planning, decision-making ability, and executive function.


      The aim of this study was to explore the role of early cognitive rehabilitation training in improving cognitive impairment in critically ill patients.


      This study was a prospective, randomised, controlled clinical trial conducted from January 2017 to June 2021. Critically ill patients with cognitive impairment admitted to the Department of Intensive Care Medicine of The Third Hospital of Mianyang were randomly divided into the control (n = 68) and intervention groups (n = 68). Cognitive rehabilitation training (including digital operating system training, music therapy, aerobic training, and mental health intervention) was applied to the patients in the intervention group for 6 months, while the control group did not receive any cognitive intervention. Before 3 and 6 months after enrolment, the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey Scale were used to evaluate cognitive function and quality of life, respectively, in both groups.


      A total of 136 critical patients were included in the final analysis. There were no significant differences in sex, age, years of education, complications, intensive care unit hospitalisation time, mechanical ventilation time, or the total score of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment scale when transferred out of the intensive care unit in 24 hours between the two groups. Six months later, the results of the follow-up showed that the cognitive function score in the intervention group was significantly higher than that in the control group (26.69 ± 2.49 vs. 23.03 ± 3.79). The analysis of quality of life showed that the scores in all areas in the intervention group improved. There were significant differences in physical functioning (69.02 ± 8.14 vs. 63.38 ± 11.94), role physical (62.02 ± 12.18 vs. 58.09 ± 8.83), general health (46.00 ± 15.21 vs. 40.38 ± 13.77), vitality (61.00 ± 11.01 vs. 54.38 ± 13.80), social functioning (70.00 ± 10.29 vs. 64.41 ± 13.61), role emotional (78.00 ± 8.00 vs. 72.15 ± 12.18), and mental health (71.00 ± 12.33 vs. 55.37 ± 10.76) between the two groups (P < 0.05).


      Early cognitive rehabilitation training can improve cognitive impairment in critically ill patients and their quality of life.


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