Physical and occupational therapy utilization in a pediatric intensive care unit

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Abstract

Purpose

To characterize the use of physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) consultation in our pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

Materials and methods

We studied children aged 1 week–18 years admitted to a tertiary care PICU for ≥ 3 days. Patient characteristics, details of PT and OT sessions and adverse events were collected. A multivariable logistic regression was performed to determine factors associated with receipt of PT and OT consultation with propensity analysis followed by a regression for factors associated with outcome.

Results

Of 138 children studied, 40 (29%) received PT and OT consultation. Services were initiated 6.9 ± 10.0 (mean ± standard deviation) days after PICU admission. Range of motion (83%) was the most common therapy provided and 28% of patients were ambulated. Sixty-four of 297 (21.5%) sessions were deferred and 7 (2.4%) sessions were terminated early due to physiologic instability with no serious adverse events. Children who received PT and OT were older, more likely to require neuromuscular blocking agents, and had lower pre-PICU POPC scores (all p < 0.05).

Conclusions

Data are needed to inform on the efficacy of rehabilitative therapies initiated in the ICU to improve outcome for critically ill children.

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