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

Michelle Paton, Rebecca Lane, Eldho Paul, Georgina A. Cuthburtson, Carol L. Hodgson

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18 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e860-e869
Number of pages10
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • critical care
  • critical illness
  • early ambulation
  • early mobilization
  • physical therapists
  • rehabilitation

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