Nurses' perceptions of early mobilisation in the adult Intensive Care Unit: A qualitative study

Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2021 Oct:66:103039. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2021.103039. Epub 2021 Apr 28.


Objective: To explore nurses' perceptions of early mobilisation of patient in the adult intensive care unit.

Design and methods: An exploratory descriptive qualitative research design was used. Three focus group interviews were conducted in 2018-2019. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed verbatim and content analysis was used to extract emerging categories and sub-categories.

Setting: Thirteen female intensive care nurses were interviewed from one university-affiliated public hospital in Singapore.

Findings: The first category was barriers to early mobilisation with sub-categories: time constraints, safety concerns, resistance from patients. The second category was facilitators to early mobilisation with sub-categories: practical training, teamwork and positive outcomes.

Conclusion: Early mobilisation is a multifaceted process. A dynamic team approach is needed if early mobilisation is to be integrated as part of routine care in the intensive care unit. Findings suggest the need for a well-established protocol integrating standard mobility policy and set clear, achievable and patient-oriented goals for each patient as well as effective communication among nurses but also other healthcare professional involved in the care of patients.

Keywords: Content analysis; Early mobilisation; Focus group; Intensive care; Nurses; Qualitative; Singapore.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Early Ambulation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Nurses*
  • Perception
  • Qualitative Research