Wide Disagreement Between Alternative Assessments of Premorbid Physical Activity: Subjective Patient and Surrogate Reports and Objective Smartphone Data

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Abstract

Objectives:

Surrogate-decision maker and patient self-reported estimates of the distances walked prior to acute illness are subjective and may be imprecise. It may be possible to extract objective data from a patient’s smartphone, specifically, step and global position system data, to quantify physical activity. The objectives were to 1) assess the agreement between surrogate-decision maker and patient self-reported estimates of distance and time walked prior to resting and daily step-count and 2) determine the feasibility of extracting premorbid physical activity (step and global position system) data from critically ill patients.

Design:

Prospective cohort study.

Setting:

Quaternary ICU.

Patients:

Fifty consecutively admitted adult patients who owned a smartphone, who were ambulatory at baseline, and who remained in ICU for more than 48 hours participated.

Measurments and Main Results:

There was no agreement between patients and surrogates for all premorbid walking metrics (mean bias 108% [99% lower to 8,700% higher], 83% [97% to 2,100%], and 71% [96% to 1,080%], for distance, time, and steps, respectively). Step and/or global position system data were successfully extracted from 24 of 50 phones (48%; 95% CI, 35–62%). Surrogate-decision makers, but not patient self-reported, estimates of steps taken per day correlated with smartphone data (surrogates: n = 13, ρ = 0.56, p < 0.05; patients: n = 13, ρ = 0.30, p = 0.317).

Conclusion:

There was a lack of agreement between surrogate-decision maker and patient self-reported subjective estimates of distance walked. Obtaining premorbid physical activity data from the current-generation smartphones was feasible in approximately 50% of patients.

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