This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
The objective of this systematic review is to assess the effectiveness of exercise rehabilitation programmes, initiated after ICU discharge, on improving functional exercise capacity and quality of life in adult ICU survivors who have been mechanically ventilated for more than 24 hours.
We will compare an exercise intervention to any other intervention or a control or 'usual care' programme. Exercise includes any structured or taught programmes. Respiratory or inspiratory muscle training is excluded due to it being initiated within the ICU environment, for example with weaning from a ventilator, and not as post-discharge rehabilitation as required for this review.