Article Title

Intensive care unit mobility practices in Australia and New Zealand: A point prevalence study



To develop a comprehensive set of items describing physiotherapy mobilisation practices for critically ill patients, and to document current practices in intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand, focusing on patients having > 48 hours of mechanical ventilation.


Prospective, observational, multicentre, single-day, point prevalence study.

Participants and Setting:

All patients in 38 Australian and New Zealand ICUs at 10 am on one of three designated days in 2009 and 2010.

Main Outcome Measures:

Demographic data, admission diagnosis and mobilisation practices that had occurred in the previous 24 hours.


514 patients were enrolled, with 498 complete datasets. Mean age was 59.2 years (SD, 16.7 years) and 45% were mechanically ventilated. Mobilisation activities were classified into five categories that were not mutually exclusive: 140 patients (28%) completed an in-bed exercise regimen, 93 (19%) sat over the side of the bed, 182 (37%) sat out of bed, 124 (25%) stood and 89 (18%) walked. Predefined adverse events occurred on 24 occasions (5%). No patient requiring mechanical ventilation sat out of bed or walked. On the study day, 391 patients had been in ICU for> 48 hours. There were 384 complete datasets available for analysis and, of these, 332 patients (86%) were not walked. Of those not walked, 76 (23%) were in the ICU for 7 days.


Patient mobilisation was shown to be low in a single-day point prevalence study. Future observational studies are required to confirm the results.


mobilisation, current practice, critically ill patients

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