Work Type



Fall 10-13-2015

Faculty Advisor

Ann Wilson, PT, M. Ed., GCS




Title: Effect of Early Mobilization Programs in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A Review of Systematic Reviews

Authors: Nicholas C. Higa, SPT1; Stephanie J. Pelham, SPT1; Rondamarie B. Smith, SPT1; Ann Wilson, PT, M.Ed., GCS.1

Affiliation(s): 1. Physical Therapy Program, University of Puget Sound;

Purpose: To determine the effect of early mobilization on reducing the side effects associated with prolonged bed rest of patients in the ICU.

Materials & Methods: CINAHL, The Cochrane Library, PEDro and PubMed were searched between April 2015 to August 2015 to identify systematic reviews published from 2000 to 2015 with the keywords “ambulation,” “critical care,” “early mobilization,” “systematic review,” “ICU,” and “physical therapy.” The search resulted in the retrieval of eight potential articles.

Results: The initial search yielded 187 articles with seven meeting the inclusion/exclusion criteria, published from 2009 to 2013, which were rated using the AMSTAR checklist and organized according to outcome measure. The outcome measures include: length of stay in the ICU, length of stay in the hospital, hand grip strength, mortality, functional independence, 6 minute walk test (6MWT), duration of intubation, duration of mechanical ventilation, SF-36 and health related quality of life (QOL).

Conclusions: The research indicates early mobilization improves functional mobility and muscle strength, reduces the length of stay in the ICU, the duration of mechanical ventilation and decreases mortality.

Keywords: Early Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Early Mobilization, ICU, Intensive Care Unit, Systematic Review, Critical Care, Early Mobility, Physical Therapy


University of Puget Sound