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Literature review: Barriers to early mobilization

Updated: May 2

Early mobilization in the intensive care unit (ICU) has received much attention over the past 10 years. The growing body of evidence suggests that early mobilization and acute rehabilitation are safe and feasible interventions.


Early mobilization improves muscle strength and mobility status at ICU discharge and increases the probability of walking without assistance at hospital discharge (Sibilla, et al. 2020). However, translating the available knowledge into clinical practice remains challenging. Recent point prevalence studies found rates of early mobilization of ventilated patients up to 24% and for non-ventilated patients at 60% (Sibilla, et al. 2020). Due to the complex nature of the ICU, many factors hinder early mobilization of patients. The factors are categorized into organization-, practitioner- and patient-based. The available literature on the barriers to early mobilization has been reviewed and will be elaborated on in the literature review available for download.


IC-MOVE Whitepaper Barriers to early mobilization
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