Mobilization During Critical Illness: A Higher Level of Mobilization Improves Health Status at 6 Months, a Secondary Analysis of a Prospective Cohort Study

Crit Care Med. 2021 Sep 1;49(9):e860-e869. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000005058.


Objectives: To determine the influence of active mobilization during critical illness on health status in survivors 6 months post ICU admission.

Design: Post hoc secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study conducted between November 2013 and March 2015.

Setting: Two tertiary hospital ICU's in Victoria, Australia.

Patients: Of 194 eligible patients admitted, mobility data for 186 patients were obtained. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were as per the original trial.

Interventions: The dosage of mobilization in ICU was measured by: 1) the Intensive Care Mobility Scale where a higher Intensive Care Mobility Scale level was considered a higher intensity of mobilization or 2) the number of active mobilization sessions performed during the ICU stay. The data were extracted from medical records and analyzed against Euro-quality of life-5D-5 Level version answers obtained from phone interviews with survivors 6 months following ICU admission. The primary outcome was change in health status measured by the Euro-quality of life-5D-5 Level utility score, with change in Euro-quality of life-5D-5 Level mobility domain a secondary outcome.

Measurements and main results: Achieving higher levels of mobilization (as per the Intensive Care Mobility Scale) was independently associated with improved outcomes at 6 months (Euro-quality of life-5D-5 Level utility score unstandardized regression coefficient [β] 0.022 [95% CI, 0.002-0.042]; p = 0.033; Euro-quality of life-5D-5 Level mobility domain β = 0.127 [CI, 0.049-0.205]; p = 0.001). Increasing the number of active mobilization sessions was not found to independently influence health status. Illness severity, total comorbidities, and admission diagnosis also independently influenced health status.

Conclusions: In critically ill survivors, achieving higher levels of mobilization, but not increasing the number of active mobilization sessions, improved health status 6 months after ICU admission.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Illness / nursing
  • Early Ambulation / standards*
  • Early Ambulation / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / organization & administration
  • Intensive Care Units / statistics & numerical data
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Victoria