Effect of early ambulation after transfemoral cardiac catheterization in Hong Kong: a single-blinded randomized controlled trial

Anadolu Kardiyol Derg. 2012 May;12(3):222-30. doi: 10.5152/akd.2012.065. Epub 2012 Feb 24.


Objective: The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of early ambulation after cardiac catheterization (CC) on patients' back pain, puncture site pain, vascular complications, urinary discomfort, general well-being perception and satisfaction level.

Methods: This study was a randomized single-blinded controlled trial. Overall, 137 participants were randomly assigned to experimental (63 participants) or control (74 participants) group according to a computer generated random list. Early ambulation (ambulate at 4 hours post-CC) and routine post-procedure care of 12 to 24 hours were used in the experimental and control groups respectively. Independent t-test, Chi-square test, multiple logistic regression and generalized estimation equation model were applied to compare various outcomes between experimental and control groups.

Results: Only one patient in the control group experienced puncture site bleeding after CC. Ambulation at 4 hours after CC significantly reduced patients' back pain 8 hours after they returned to the unit (OR=0.19, 95% CI: 0.08-0.45, p<0.001) and in the next morning (OR=0.36, 95% CI: 0.15-0.87, p=0.023), decrease urinary discomfort (OR=0.35, 95% CI: 0.14-0.90, p=0.03 for "very or unbearable urination discomfort" and OR=0.22, 95% CI: 0.06-0.74, p=0.015 for "much difficulty or unable to urinate at all"), and increase general well- being (p=0.005 for vitality subscale and p=0.014 for the total general well-being). However, it made no significant differences on puncture site pain as well as the satisfaction level of patients.

Conclusion: The study enhanced health providers' understanding about the effects of early ambulation on patient outcomes. Nurses may provide more individualized and appropriate care to post-CC patients in a more competent and cost-effective way.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Back Pain
  • Bed Rest
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / standards
  • Early Ambulation*
  • Female
  • Hematoma
  • Hemorrhage
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urination Disorders