Objective: Early mobilization and rehabilitation has become common and expectations for physical therapists working in intensive care units have increased in Japan. The objective of this study was to establish consensus-based minimum clinical practice standards for physical therapists working in intensive care units in Japan. It also aimed to make an international comparison of minimum clinical practice standards in this area.
Methods: In total, 54 experienced physical therapists gave informed consent and participated in this study. A modified Delphi method with questionnaires was used over three rounds. Participants rated 272 items as "essential/unknown/non-essential". Consensus was considered to be reached on items that over 70% of physical therapists rated as "essential" to clinical practice in the intensive care unit.
Results: Of the 272 items in the first round, 188 were deemed essential. In round 2, 11 of the 62 items that failed to reach consensus in round 1 were additionally deemed essential. No item was added to the "essential" consensus in round 3. In total, 199 items were therefore deemed essential as a minimum standard of clinical practice. Participants agreed that 42 items were not essential and failed to reach agreement on 31 others. Identified 199 items were different from those in the UK and Australia due to national laws, cultural and historical backgrounds.
Conclusions: This is the first study to develop a consensus-based minimum clinical practice standard for physical therapists working in intensive care units in Japan.
Keywords: Education; Intensive care units; Minimum standards; Physiotherapy.
2021, JAPANESE PHYSICAL THERAPY ASSOCIATION.