The aim was to investigate whether patients who participated in a mobility program
in the ICU performed better on functional status, muscle, mobility, and respiratory assessments upon discharge than patients who received conventional physiotherapy.
Randomized controlled trial.
Adults with previous functional independence and without contraindications for mobilization were eligible.
The intervention group participated in an early and progressive mobility program
with five levels of activity. The control group underwent the conventional treatment without a preestablished routine. We evaluated functional status, level of activity, respiratory status, muscle strength, and mobility at ICU discharge.
Measurements and Main Results:
We analyzed 49 patients in the control group and 50 patients in the intervention group. Our data showed patients with better functional status and more functionally independent patients in the intervention group compared with those in the control group (96% vs 44%; p
< 0.001). The results of the sit-to-stand and 2-minute walk tests, as well as the results of the maximum voluntary ventilation tests, also varied between the groups. The intervention group had shorter ICU stays than the control group. Higher Barthel index scores were associated with the amount of activity and participation in the protocol. The benefits to functional status remained during follow-up.
Patients who participated in an ICU mobility program
had better functional status at discharge from the ICU. The other benefits of the program included better performance in the mobility tests and improved maximum voluntary ventilation performance.