Nurse-Initiated Mobilization Practices in 2 Community Intensive Care Units: A Pilot Study

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Critical-care nurses play a vital role in promoting safe early mobilization in intensive care unit (ICU) settings to reduce the risks associated with immobility in ICUs, including the risk of delirium, ICU-acquired weakness, and functional decline.


The purposes of this study were to describe nurse-led mobilization practices in 2 community hospital ICUs and to report differences and similarities between the 2 settings.


This was a cross-sectional exploratory study of 18 nurses (ICU A: n = 12, ICU B: n = 6) and 124 patients (ICU A: n = 50, ICU B: n = 74). Patient-specific therapeutic intervention needs and nurse-initiated mobilization practices were tracked over a 1-month period.


Differences in patient characteristics and nurse-led mobilization activities were observed between ICUs. After controlling for patient characteristics, we found statistically significant differences in nurse-led mobilization activities between the 2 units, suggesting that factors other than patient characteristics may explain differences in nurse-led mobilization practices.

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