Improving Mobility in Critically Ill Patients in a Tertiary Care ICU: Opportunities and Challenges

Indian J Crit Care Med. 2021 Jan;25(1):34-42. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23438.


Background: Patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) are subjected to prolonged bed rest secondary to critical illness and related therapies. Data suggest that such bed rest can have adverse consequences on the post-discharge quality of life. There is limited data from India on mobilization practices. We undertook a quality improvement (QI) initiative to understand our mobilization practices, identify challenges, and test interventions.

Materials and methods: We carried out a three-phase QI project, and the study was conducted in our 24-bedded ICU. Pre-intervention and post-intervention mobilization performance and scores were analyzed. We also recorded data on adverse events and barriers to mobilization. Descriptive statistics were used to report all the results.

Results: A total of 140 patients (1,033 patient days) and 207 patients (932 patient days) were included in our initial audit and post-implementation audit, respectively. In pre-implementation, 31.3% of patients were mobilized with an average mobility score of 2 and this improved to 57.9% with average mobility score of 3.4. Additionally, we demonstrated improvements in the mobility scores of our intubated patients (49.8% achieving a mobility score of 3-5 as compared to 16.7%).

Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach is feasible and resulted in significant improvements in early mobilization among critically ill adults.

How to cite this article: Mohan S, Patodia S, Kumaravel S, Venkataraman R, Vijayaraghavan BKT. Improving Mobility in Critically Ill Patients in a Tertiary Care ICU: Opportunities and Challenges. Indian J Crit Care Med 2021;25(1):34-42.

Keywords: Intensive care units; Quality improvement; Rehabilitation.