Mobilization patterns of children on a hematology/oncology inpatient ward

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Abstract

Background

Children being treated for cancer are admitted to the hospital for treatment of their disease or complications of therapy. Periods of bed rest during hospitalization can cause impairments detrimental to children with cancer who endure many side effects of therapy. Little is known about how these children mobilize while admitted to the hospital. The purpose of this study was to examine how children admitted to a hematology/oncology ward are mobilizing and analyze factors associated with delayed or infrequent mobility.

Procedure

A retrospective chart review was conducted on 228 charts with data recorded on documented mobilization and referrals to physiotherapy. Primary outcome was related to mobility including timing, frequency, type, and nature of mobilization.

Results

Almost half of children (43%) mobilized between 3 and 5 days per week, with median time to first mobilization being 2 days (interquartile range 1–3). Caregivers assisted with mobilization 91% of the time. Children isolated to their room and those reporting fever had a statistically significant decrease in the percent of admission days involving mobilization (mean difference 15 and 8%, respectively) than those not isolated and without fever. Children who were isolated also mobilized 1 day later (P = 0.016) than children who were not isolated. Percentage of time in isolation was positively correlated with timing (P = 0.04) and negatively correlated with frequency of mobilization (P < 0.001).

Conclusion

Most children admitted to the hospital for treatment of oncologic or hematologic conditions were noted to mobilize early, but frequency of mobilization could be improved. Periods of time in isolation appear to negatively affect mobilization.

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