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Niger J Clin Pract. 2019 Sep;22(9):1229-1235. doi: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_338_18.

ICU-acquired weakness: A multicentre survey of knowledge among ICU clinicians in South-Western Nigeria.

Author information

Adjunct Professor (Physiotherapy), School of Health Sciences, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji Islands, Fiji.
Physiotherapist, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
Professor of Neuro-Physiotherapy, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.



Knowledge of ICU clinicians about Intensive Care Unit Acquired Weakness (ICU-AW) is a vital step in implementing prevention strategies.

Aim of Study:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of knowledge of ICU clinicians in teaching hospitals in Southwest Nigeria about ICU-AW.


ICU clinicians were surveyed using a self-administered questionnaire to obtain data on knowledge about ICUAW. Data were summarized as frequency and percentages, mean and standard deviation using SPSS version 20.


Total of 134 ICU clinicians (56 anesthetists, 35 physiotherapists, and 43 nurses) responded to the questionnaire, of which 100 were aware of ICUAW. Three of the 100 correctly identified ICU-AW as a neuromuscular disease. Totally, 40% correctly indicated Medical Research Council Scoring Scale as a diagnostic tool for ICU-AW. Severe sepsis and prolonged mechanical ventilation were the two highest identified risk factors for ICU-AW. However, only 35% of respondents were able to identify either use of aminoglycosides, and prolonged use of vasopressors as risk factors for ICUAW. Almost half (49%) reported having methods of managing ICUAW at their institution.


Though awareness about Intensive care unit-acquired weakness (ICUAW) among clinicians in teaching hospitals in the Southwestern Nigeria is high, but knowledge about diagnosis and classification is low. This highlights the need for specialized training of ICU clinicians about ICUAW to enhance prevention and early detection.


ICU-acquired weakness; intensive care unit; knowledge; southwestern Nigeria

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