Defining new barriers to mobilisation in a highly active intensive care unit – have we found the ceiling? An observational study

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Background:Mobilisation of intensive care (ICU) patients attenuates ICU-acquired weakness, but the prevalence is low (12–54%). Better understanding of barriers and enablers may inform practice.Objectives:To identify barriers to mobilisation and factors associated with successful mobilisation in our medical /surgical /trauma ICU where mobilisation is well-established.Methods:4-week prospective study of frequency and intensity of mobilisation, clinical factors and barriers (extracted from electronic database). Generalized linear mixed models were used to describe associations between demographics, clinical factors and successful mobilisation.Results:202 patients accounted for 742 patient days. Patients mobilised on 51% of patient days. Most frequent barriers were drowsiness (18%), haemodynamic/respiratory contraindications (17%), and medical orders (14%). Predictors of successful mobilisation included high Glasgow Coma Score (OR = 1.44, 95%CI=[1.29–1.60]), and male sex (OR = 2.29, 95%CI=[1.40–3.75]) but not age (OR = 1.05, 95%CI=[1.01–1.08]).Conclusions:Our major barriers (drowsiness, haemodynamic/respiratory contraindications) may be unavoidable, indicating an upper limit of feasible mobilisation therapy in ICU.

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