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Improving physical activity in hospitalized patients: The preliminary effectiveness of a goal-directed movement intervention.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the preliminary effectiveness of a goal-directed movement intervention using a movement sensor on physical activity of hospitalized patients.

DESIGN: Prospective, pre-post study.

SETTING: A university medical center.

PARTICIPANTS: Patients admitted to the pulmonology and nephrology/gastro-enterology wards.

INTERVENTION: The movement intervention consisted of (1) self-monitoring of patients' physical activity, (2) setting daily movement goals and (3) posters with exercises and walking routes. Physical activity was measured with a movement sensor (PAM AM400) which measures active minutes per day.

MAIN MEASURES: Primary outcome was the mean difference in active minutes per day pre- and post-implementation. Secondary outcomes were length of stay, discharge destination, immobility-related complications, physical functioning, perceived difficulty to move, 30-day readmission, 30-day mortality and the adoption of the intervention.

RESULTS: A total of 61 patients was included pre-implementation, and a total of 56 patients was included post-implementation. Pre-implementation, patients were active 38 ± 21 minutes (mean ± SD) per day, and post-implementation 50 ± 31 minutes per day (Δ12, P  = 0.031). Perceived difficulty to move decreased from 3.4 to 1.7 (0-10) (Δ1.7, P  = 0.008). No significant differences were found in other secondary outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: The goal-directed movement intervention seems to increase physical activity levels during hospitalization. Therefore, this intervention might be useful for other hospitals to stimulate inpatient physical activity.

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