Activity in the chronically critically ill

Dimens Crit Care Nurs. 2005 Nov-Dec;24(6):281-90. doi: 10.1097/00003465-200511000-00011.


Although therapeutic activity prevents functional decline and reduces mortality, little is known about typical levels of activity among intensive care unit (ICU) patients. This report of a preliminary study describes typical therapeutic activity and compares the use of two measures of activity in a small sample of chronically critically ill adults. Type, frequency, and duration of therapeutic activity were measured simultaneously with direct observation and actigraphy. The only consistent activity documented was turning (frequency: 3 turns/8 hours; duration: mean average of 11 minutes). Analysis demonstrated acceptable agreement between the two measures of activity for both frequency and duration of therapeutic but not for type of activity. Congruence between measures for duration of activity was also supported. This study provides information for investigators and practitioners who are interested in measuring or implementing therapeutic activity in selected critically ill adults.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academic Medical Centers
  • Bed Rest / adverse effects
  • Bed Rest / methods
  • Bed Rest / nursing
  • Bed Rest / statistics & numerical data
  • Chronic Disease / nursing
  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Critical Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Critical Illness / nursing*
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Early Ambulation / methods
  • Early Ambulation / nursing
  • Early Ambulation / statistics & numerical data
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / nursing
  • Movement
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Observation / methods
  • Pilot Projects
  • Posture*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Time Factors
  • Time and Motion Studies